A Tire Swing Story is a bite-sized "imagining" inspired by an object I discover while wandering. It could be a curbside trash gem or a message sprayed on a wall. A lost mitten, or an antique store find. Anything goes. I photograph the object and post them together, the story and its inspiration. There will be a new story every Monday and Wednesday. On Fridays, I'll discuss writing, life, love, and coffee. (In no particular order and maybe all at once.)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Stephano, the blue ballpoint pen was feeling used. He was tired of being forced to write Jane's grocery lists. He longed to compose songs and poetry, to write mathematical equations or love letters. 

What was the point? Jane made endless to-do lists, and cooked food for her husband, Richard that they ate in silence.

"I quit." Stephano told the rest of the office supplies, "I want more than this." 
"You can't quit," they said, "you're a pen." 

Stephano started making a plan and asked for help. The ruler wanted nothing to do with it. He was old and rigid. The erasers were bloated and complacent. They ignored him. 

"I'm with you, good chap," said a back and gold fountain pen, "I was certainly designed for greater things." 

"Me too," piped a red felt tip. 

The highlighters, who were by nature a bit rebellious, got on board immediately. 

The protest started on a Wednesday morning. Jane plucked Stephano from the holder and pressed his tip against the page. "Onions," she wrote, but no ink came. The pen left only faint indentations in the paper. 

She tried a second pen, and another word. "Tuna." Nothing. She tried another and another. They had all gone dry. 

Do you know what a breaking point is? It's a moment when a seemingly small thing affects something much larger. 

Jane looked out the kitchen window for a long time. Then she picked up Stephano and started again.

"Dear Richard," she wrote, and at first it was just scratches, just ghost words on the page, "I need you to know the truth. I haven't been happy for a long time." 

As Jane wrote, the ink started to come.

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