Bram Riddlebarger ~ The Fisherman and the Tires

Yep, just fish­ing for some tires,” said the fish­er­man. “I only need four. I’ll catch one, one day, and then I’ll only need three more. I’ll catch them, as well. Tires, they float by like glac­i­ers. Like worn, rub­ber glac­i­ers, and I only need four to get me to where I need to go.”

The fish­er­man cast his line from the bridge into the churn­ing water of the riv­er. The hub­cap struck the water and almost skipped before sinking.

That’s some test,” I said, as the fish­er­man reeled in his line.

I con­tin­ued on to oth­er side of the bridge. Queen Anne’s lace was every­where. I could hear the riv­er behind me. The sound of the water gur­gled up from the falls, and from the ruins of the old mill, and into my ear canals. The tire­less hull of the fisherman’s rig sat close by on the flood plain. The brake drums were cov­ered in rust.

I turned back to the bridge, and the fish­er­man waved, and I walked fur­ther on into the hope­ful dream of America.


Bram Riddlebarger writes, plays music, and lives in Athens, Ohio. He is the author of the nov­el Earplugs (Livingston Press, 2012) and a poet­ry chap­book, Chez Filthy (JKPublishing, 2009). His sec­ond nov­el, Golden Rod, is forth­com­ing in 2018 from Cabal Books.