The Nice Thing About Strangers

Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.

Locally Owned and Operated

In the tire shop: “Well, it’s a good car, you know, I do enjoy driving it.” The men chitchat, standing and pacing between the displays: cut-outs of the Michelin man, islands of potential childhood swings, and taxidermy. Heads of deer, antelope, even a moose peer over the men who pose with their hands on their waist or clutched unaware in fists. A humming machine sells bottles of Coca-Cola and the men reminisce about the time when a bottle of pop was a dime, the days the glass bottles were reused and not very clean. The good old days.

One man’s car is finished. His oil change complete, “$40.47,” the manager says. The man “wow”s the price. My heart collapses. “Synthetic oil,” the manager explains. “Pretty steep,” the customer sighs as he pays. Then, free to go, he sticks around with the other men asking about the signs outside, the traffic passing by. They debate the type of oil to use, move on to how deep the water was getting in the river. “Just keep those tornadoes away.”  They nod, they agree, they smile a bit and look out the window, waiting for another topic to arrive, not in any hurry.

-Omaha, Nebraska

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This entry was posted on May 11, 2012 by in Happiness, Observed, Travel and tagged , , , , , .

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