tire swing

As a child, tire swings always seemed like a promise of fun, but turned out more trouble than they were worth. Although tire swings are always depicted as hanging from a strong rope from a tree vertically, my actual tire swing memories stem from a horizontally braced tire swing in Nichols Park: Sound of children playing – screaming, running amongst the deep, brown dirt and woodchips. It is a warm, humid summer day, back when Nichols was totally made out of wood. All the play areas and play fixtures. I am … perhaps eight-years-old? Seven? Young enough to be playing on my own at the park while my Dad is nearby. I am and always have been shy. I’ve always had an issue with putting a foot forward, extending a hand and making introductions. I was watching a TNG episode last night (Coming Of Age) and Wesley made it look so easy, it made me envy him. Anyway, without grand fanfare or introductionI somehow started playing with two other kids. They both seemed older, and I don’t think knew each other. There was a horizontally braced tire swing in the park and we somehow started swinging on it, either together or taking turns. I’m not sure. The memory is blurred. But the older kid (both boys, might I add) started daring us to jump off it when he would push it really high. And I was going really high. I’m not sure if I did or not. I can’t remember, though I do remember feeling awkward and afraid. My Dad also, seemingly absent from this scene. Perhaps on a bench not by this area of the park, reading a paper. But this other, younger, scrawny kid, he jumped. Or did the older kid push him? I’m honestly not sure. But all I know is that this kid hit the ground – hard – and started screaming and crying so loud for his mother. The older kid booked it and ran. I stayed rooted, unsure of what to do. I wasn’t his mother, didn’t know where his mother was, didn’t know where my Dad was. It wasn’t my fault that he got hurt, but I was playing with him? Should I stay? What would I say to his mother if I did? I ended up awkwardly leaving. I like to think that I may have tried to engage the kid a little bit before I did, but what could I have done? I felt terrible. Really rotten and terrible. I think I remember hearing his mother finding him and she was of course concerned and was asking what had happened. My heart beating rapidly, I think I found –

Author: Roe

29. she/her. Songwriter & Trek Punk Soul™.

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