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Friday, November 6, 2009

Thursday at the Tire Store

(First posted at TRS Blue November 6, 2009)

Well, things being what they are, I find myself at the local tire shop, taking care of bunches of stuff that my aging mother let go on her van. Windshield wipers, alignment, spare tire, and so forth. It’s dreary outside, drizzling and wet. To cap everything, I’m coming down with a cold.

The good thing about a tire shop is that it’s one of those male havens, a place where women are patently out of place in spite of the pretty blondes working at the counter. I sit here with my laptop, gazing covertly at the limping redhaired man with the fox-headed walking staff, the bearded fellow in the plaid flannel shirt and pristine white tennis shoes, and the cowboy with his hat hair and beautiful redheaded girlfriend.

It’s not a bad place to be on a drizzly morning.

My active brain begins spinning stories with the characters that are so ready to be written. The tire technician with the shaved head keeps sending glances toward the skinny guy that’s running the register, and the middle-aged cashier clearly has something going with the young hunk that works the alignment bay. Up at the front office, the manager of the shop is sitting at his desk, his head just inches from the blonde girl’s breast as he explains a mistake.

It doesn’t take much to dig up the inspiration, does it? It comes from so many places, both expected and completely surprising.

Outside the window is the bad section of town, where down and out drifters wait in line for a warm lunch and a place to crash for the night. These days, the Mission is filled to capacity every night.

The young man on the bicycle has kinky, wild hair and the eyes of a madman or a prophet. He’s clearly seen too much in life. He’s late for check-in at the mission, so he’ll spend a cold, damp night sleeping in the bushes across the street from the tire shop. His dreams will be vivid and populated with images both amazing and frightful. Perhaps he will come face-to-face with the magic that accompanies his every thought and action. I make a mental portrait of him, for he will take a role in a future story.

Very soon the work on the van will be finished, and it will be time to leave. These players will continue to move on a stage outside of my vision, but their stories will continue to unwind, leaving me to wonder and to imagine.

Belinda McBride writes erotic fiction, and is published at Loose Id, Changeling Press, and New Concepts Publishing. She welcomes you to visit her site at
And her blog at

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