Tire Flipper

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***

Flip, flip, flip, plop.

An old tire spins through the air and thuds in the dirt. Red dust puffs.

Wind blows through golden weeds.

I rip another half-buried tire out of the pile and chuck it.

I’m trading a favor for a favor.

I need a place to store my truck while I fly back home.

A local rancher said I could use his place.

He wanted a favor in return.

He needed the dirt flipped out of a pyramid of maybe three hundred tires.

Dust has been blowing over this pile of rotting tires out in the middle of nowhere for decades. It’s half-buried now.

In a small place where people know each other, you can trade favors for favors.

You can open up the local diner before hours just because you know the owner. That kind of thing.

In a big place where nobody knows each other, there is a lock & price on everything.

I grip another tire and huck it heavenward.

Dirt & dust trail out of the black rubber ring as it flies.

This pile of tires seems infinite.

Like a task Hades gave a dead guy back in ancient Greece.

What is a pyramid of tires doing out in here in these empty acres?

It was birthed by hippies as an Earth ship some decades back.

It was supposed to be a home made of recycled material.

Three walls made out of concrete loaded with beer cans stand nearby.

You can see where they had a fireplace and a window that faced a mountain.

Now the window is a hole in a muddy wall with wind blowing through it.

The commune dissolved in a pool of bitter acid.

“You’re just like all the other people after all.”

“You’re killing the spirit of our place, man.”

All that kind of stuff went down, I’m sure.

They left, dragging their bastards behind them.

The Earth ship became a pile of beer can concrete and rotting tires in the desert.

The rancher I met at the bar wants the dirt flipped out of the tires so he can load them into a dump truck and bring them to the recycling station.

“Your truck is safe here,” he says. “When we see trespassers on the camera, we ride out and greet them with a loaded shotgun.”

I was so right not to sleep in my truck overnight my first night here.

Gloved fingers grip another tire.

What creepy crawly beasts live in this pile of garbage?

Anything could scramble out of there.

Rattle snakes. Tarantulas. Hippies.

I flip the last tire clean of dirt well after nightfall.

Dust myself off, hop in Rhodie, and drive out to the gate.

Found a home for my truck and paid the rent.

To be continued

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