Flat Tire Day

Do you know when you wake up in the morning and there is a portend that things are about to get worse?   I’ve been trying to find time to return a bunch of things back to my storage unit, and this morning I was going to do it.   I have an eight bottle wine cooler that was, at one time, was in use, but now, with one bottle of wine really doesn’t need to be taking up my tiny kitchen.  Between the paintings I didn’t need on the wall of my apartment right now, the Halloween stuff, and the wine cooler, Sunday morning I packed the back of silver Aerio en-route to my storage unit.  Kim and I packed into the car, pulled out of the parking lot and drove down the hill to a noise that alerted us.  Flat tire.  ARGH!  I jumped out of the car and took a look.  It was dead, but I was able to take it to a station and try to refill it, thinking that I might just be able to get it to Sears where I had purchased it.  I had a road hazard warranty, so I just had to get it there.

I made it to breakfast, I had coffee, and it tasted weird.  The half and half packet, I put the coffee, was spoiled.  Then, when I got the eggs, I ordered there was a thread in it.   I poured out the catsup and there was water on top that splashed out on the eggs.  YUK!

I drove carefully to a station, after that lovely breakfast.  After four cycle runs of the air compressor, nothing.   At this point I realized I would need to remove everything out of the back and dig deep to find the spare.  Did it even have a spare?    I’ve had the car for ten years now, and I’ve been fortunate not to need it.  I’ve always been able to drive it to a station somewhere and get it repaired.  Since the Sunoco station, around the block, went out of business two years ago, I’ve been going to Sears to get things taken care of.   So, lo and behold, after removing everything out of the back and pulling up the floor, there was a brand new tire, never to have seen the light of day in the ten years.

I have changed a tire before, it’s not rocket science.  I moved slowly and methodically,  jacking up the car, pulling off the lugs, replacing the tire, and putting the lugs back.  Kim’s encouragement and light banter helped me continue on, without breaking out into a “fuck this” fest.   I work on computers during the day so I don’t come home with dirty hands.  I have a very clean job, and I guess some might get the impression that I’m not good at physical labor, but I’ve worked on cars with my dad.   We changed a timing chain on my dad’s 1973 Plymouth Polara.  This was easy compared to that.

With tire on, I sped off to Sears with the dread I knew would exist.  Kim and I walked in and there were seven people in line, and one person working.  The time was 10:30am.  It was something like twenty minutes before they took the information.   We were able to still use the car so Kim and I killed some time in a Starbucks, and then wrestled around trying to figure out what to do.  We went back to Sears, after noticing that the spare tire was also getting flat.  We waited till 2pm when it was finished.   In the meanwhile, we watched football on the TV they had in the waiting room.  One good thing, is they replaced the tire with a new one, of better quality.

It was 4 by the time we got home, after grabbing some lunch and dropping off the stuff at the storage unit.  My weekends are usually not that involved.  But like Kim said, it could have been much worse, it could have been snowing or raining.

flat tire

EJ Eisman is the author of the novels Spoon Girl and Malaise, pubished by AuthorHouse. He resides in Reading, PA and is also a musician, artist, playwright, actor and filmmaker.

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