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Not In an Explosion

Story ID:10060
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Caldwell ID USA
Year:2014
Person:Me
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I sat on our sofa, partly watching a television show and partly reading email and
thinking about a story I needed to write. Ginny was in the bedroom …doing …I don’t
remember what.

There was a huge bang. Our apartment shook. My head swiveled, “What the heck?”

Ginny ran into the living room, “Did you hear that?”

I leapt to my feet, “What the heck was it?”

She looked around the apartment ...her eyes wide as mine.

I dashed to the door, opened it and stepped outside. People who lived in apartments
near us stood outside like I did, looking and wondering. There were no more noises. They
drifted back into their apartments.

Our neighbors, who live below us, grabbed their bicycles and headed up the street
to investigate.

They returned several minutes later. “Did you finds out what happened?” I asked.

“Someone’s car tire blew.”

“Are you kidding me?”

He stared up at me on the upper landing. “I’m not kidding. It was just a tire blowing
out.”

How could a car tire blowing make a noise to rattle the whole neighborhood?

I walked to the next block of apartments and saw a family standing around a car.
The front tire was flat. The fender around the car was buckled out like they’d ran over a
landmine. The metal above the tire was ripped open like a piece of torn paper.

“Your tire caused that?” I asked, staring with awe.

The man of the house looked at me, “We were inside, heard a bang. This is what
we found.”

“Wow!” l scratched my balding head. “I’d never believe it, if I hadn’t seen it. Did
you pump it up too high?”

“Well, it was low the other day. I did add some air.” It was his turn to scratch his
his head, although, he did have hair on his.

Later that evening, still amazed by the explosion, I remembered times I exploded
from too much pressure. There were times in my early life …my twenties and in my first marriage.
My wife and children drove the pressure to the point I exploded in rage.

In my second marriage, my step daughter and I exploded under the pressure
of learning to get along under one roof.

I was a tire.

Since then, I’ve learned to walk away. I’ve learned to take the valve cap off and
release pressure.

I’ve walked away, gave it time, and felt the hiss of air releasing slowly and not
all at once …not in an explosion.

Michael T. Smith