I have alot of tires in my life (yes, I know alot is not one word. But it’s one word in my world, which you are now in. Thank you to those that have emailed to correct me. God bless you. I have two Master’s degrees; one in Education. I’m also big on Oxford commas).
But I digress. I’m not talking about spare tires in the traditional sense of the phrase, “spare tire,” which comes from the Greek word flabous, meaning to sit on one’s ass while consuming large amounts of beer. I’m talking about the more literal, airy, round, spokey, black things that allow us to drive cars and ride bikes and look Middle-Age cool on motorcycles.
I have two cars (well, one is officially Rachel’s but I’m responsible for), a motorcycle, a mountain bike, two street bikes, a wheelbarrow, and a little cart that I attach to my mountain bike and ride to the gym with all my gym-crap (I have alot of gym-crap). I probably look like a weird old guy riding my bike with my gym-crap cart; it has a Bucs flag on it, too. I love that cart. All in total, I have 19 tires that I am responsible for keeping airy and round.
Every day. Every. Single. Day.
19 tires is alot.
Recently I’ve suffered the blight of non airy tires, euphemistically called flat. My tires don’t become a little non-airy, slowly. No. They go instantly flat-flat; flat-non-airy, as in no-airy, zero-airy, smooshed, dead, disfigured, lopsided, void of even the slightest pressure, an impediment to any form of use. Use. Less.
Part of the issue is that flat non-airy tires always comes as a surprise. Like, are you effing kidding me right now? surprise. Like being slapped in a really dark room by an unseen hand (whapsh! Wait, what!?); incredulity on a soul level, on a planet-full-of-souls level.
The dreadful weight of comprehension comes slowly. You always squeeze and re-squeeze non-airy tires, slightly before being overcome and sinking to your knees, hands-to-the sky-Elias-dying-in-Platoon fashion, Why did you leave me, air!
Injustice on a cosmic level. Evil has won. It’s almost too much to comprehend. What did I do wrong? How have I sinned? How could this happen? Why is the universe so PSI arranged? Barnes!
Tragic comprehension gives way to anger, hurt, shock, tears, and the sudden impact that all plans have changed. There will be no airy tires going round and round today, no breeze in the hair, no birds, no humming, no sun; only melted ice cream and dog poop.
Oh, we bargain with the air-gods and try to fix it. Desperate and embarrassingly really. Pumps and patches, we spin the tires like we’re an expert and mutter things like goat head and glass and nail, the full measure now upon us.
Finally, it settles. Push or move the flatness back to where it was before we were aware: flop, flop, flop. We now need to find something else to do, some other way to get there, some way to survive, if we can. Our hope and joy smashed on the jagged rocks of ruin and flatness. We make plans to order from Amazon or get it to a Flat Wizard, and hope that someday soon we won’t suffer from the heartbreak atrocity of missing PSI flatness.
I don’t have spare tires, except for the cars, which according to the vehicle secret treasure map are hidden away in dark compartments that require keys and passwords and hieroglyphic processes.
Should I? Am I being irresponsible?
And if I should or am, why should I need spare tires? It’s like life insurance: I know I’m being ripped off, and even if I’m not, I’m freaking dead! Yay!
I am strong.
But 19 tires is alot.