by Daniel Oliver
He tightened the last lug nut, and straightened. His eyes lingered on the spare tire now fastened to its temporary home. It was funny looking; the spare tire. It made no effort to match the other tires. It was uninvolved, uncomplicated, unadorned with shiny rims, and unapologetically itself in every regard. It was simple; basic. In fact, it was so straightforward, it looked kind of quirky – dare he say, comical even. But, it was also dependable. If anything, it had to be dependable. If a spare tire had any business knowing anything at all, it would know just by looking in the mirror that it was utilitarian in design and purpose. It could fit almost any car, at any moment, at any time, but only when it was needed. It would never overestimate its role, because it didn’t want to risk losing its place. And, while that place was out of sight in the trunk of the car, at least it was a place. At least it had a role. He stepped back and looked at his car leaning precariously to one side as though it were wearing one high heel and one Chuck Taylor, and thought about how funny it was that something so undeniably dependable can make something else look so undeniably not.