Jane Haddam’s WordPress weblog

Economy Tire

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So, what can I say?

Yesterday was supposed to be a very simple day.  No big deal.  Nothing really scheduled.  Work on the book.  Write a blog post.  Hang out and watch Perry Mason DVDs.

But it was a really nice day, and I was restless, so I decided to drive up to Colebrook to buy some bread.  They don’t have a website, but you can see a picture of them here


And I go there because they make great bread, also great cakes.  But I went yesterday for the bread.  And I bought a loaf of multigrain, and then I turned around and came back.

And just as I was entering the green at Winsted, I blew a tire.

I never blow tires when I’m home, or on one of those stretches with thirty gas stations every two blocks.  I blow them when I’m in the middle of nowhere.  Right then, I was coming into the side of the green that would head me back home, and I ended up parking directly in front of this violently purple house that also serves as the site of a new-agey message place and an acupuncture office.

And then I called my friend Richard, same person who is webmaster for this site, and asked him to come up and change my tire, because of course I have no idea how to do that.

And we waited.  I was with Greg, and he was being impossible, so I gave him some money to go down the street and get ice cream or something at Dairy Queen, and I waited.  It takes about forty minutes to get from where I live up to Winsted,  so we waited, and Greg bitched.

Richard showed up faster than I had any right to expect him, and started changing the tire. 

At that point, a girl came out of the purple house,  barefoot and hippy-ish sort of.  She was very nice, but she was one of those people–she could talk nonstop for half an hour without having to inhale.

And she did talk nonstop for half an hour. She told us the history of the house.  She gave us all these stories about tarot card readings and that kind of thing, that the woman who originally owned the house used to do.  Now the house is owned by that woman’s grandson, and this girl is staying there because–

Well, you have to believe in Karma.  She was really drunk, you see, and she got into her car and started driving around and she can’t remember how she ended up in the driveway at the purple house but she did, and it turned out it was owned by somebody she knew, but she hadn’t known that before, but that was okay, it was the way it was meant to be, and she’s been there ever since…

…oh, and then there was the cat, left in a cage on the side of the road with a note asking if anybody wanted to adopt the kiten.  She went back into the house and got the cat.  It was a good cat, very small, very vocal, sort of frantic, but I didn’t blame it.

Then she brought the cat back into the house and came back out again and started talking about crystals.  Or something.

And that was when I realized that I was living through a scene I could have written in any of a dozen books over the last twenty years–a scene I have written a dozen times or more over the last twenty years. 

It was the oddest thing.

But I stopped at McD’s for a caramel iced coffee–the only kind of coffee I drink–and I drove all the way back to Economy Tire, and I still can’t get it out of my mind.

And there I was, thinking that I was going to write about this book I’m reading by Paul Berman, Islamism, French intellectuals, and the whole deal.

Tomorrow, maybe.

Matt comes home tomorrow.

Written by janeh

May 21st, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response to 'Economy Tire'

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  1. It is truly said that “life is what happens while we make other plans.”

    I hope you keep a real spare. I was once 600 miles from home on a Sunday morning with a blown-out tire and only a “donut” in the trunk. (AAA of course, told me I was on my own.) The rule since is that a real spare is part of the deal when I buy a car. Might also want to have your friend show you how to change them. It’s 15 minutes of instruction time, and a good investment. Like police, friends aren’t always there when needed.


    21 May 10 at 3:53 pm

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