Slow Puncture

Last week, I left a friend’s house to discover that I had a flat tyre on my car. This is one of those 7-seat people carrier vehicles that does not come equipped with a spare. Instead, they supply a tube of goo that is supposed to seal it, and a mini-compressor designed to inflate it enough to get you home. They may not have considered being in the pitch dark on a country lane in Norfolk, when they came up with that idea, I’m guessing. Nothing for it, but to call the car recovery club, and have the car, and us, taken home on the back of their truck.

The next day, I called a well-known national tyre company, and arranged for them to come out on Monday, and replace the flat tyre at home. I wasn’t about to consider filling it full of black goo, and attempting to drive down a fast main road into town, I assure you. They arrived as arranged, and the efficient mechanic soon told me that there was nothing wrong with the tyre at all. He had noticed a crack in the alloy wheel, that was letting out the air. He replaced the tyre, pumped it up enough to get me to the local dealership to buy a new wheel, and refunded all costs, save the small home attendance fee. It was excellent service, and I have since given that company a five-star review.

As he left, he also told me that it was not especially urgent to get the wheel replaced, as long as I was prepared to keep adding air to the tyre. “Think of it as a slow puncture”, he said.

But I did get the wheel replaced the next day. I didn’t want to chance it. Driving home, I thought about what he said, and it made me smile, as I considered I had something in common with my car. A flat tyre in a country lane had delivered a life lesson, and made everything crystal clear.

My life has been something of a slow puncture. The vitality slowly seeping out over the years, suddenly realising the need to pump myself up, after discovering just how flat I had become. Re-inflated, things go well for a while, and I don’t notice that small amount of air escaping from the unseen crack in my well-being. I often left it too late, and allowed things to become fully deflated, flat and immovable.

Other times, I just added a temporary repair; a patch, a plug. Knowing it couldn’t possibly last, but still unaware of that insidious crack, leaking away out of sight and out of mind. On occasion, I replaced the metaphorical tyre, convinced that something new would make all the difference. But of course it didn’t, and the slow puncture continued to leak the air out of me.
From that ‘cracked wheel’, that I was unaware of.

It took me most of my life, far too much of my life, to finally realise that it wasn’t the tyre, but the wheel itself.

69 thoughts on “Slow Puncture

  1. What a very interesting post, Pete. Life is a challenge for everyone, in some way or another. I try to make the best of the good times and the lovely people around me and not to dwell to much on the times of sickness and pain. We all get dealt our cards in life and we must play them as best we can.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I thought the post was a most artful statement on the eventual plight of human kind. It was most reflective on my current physical situation. Then I read the comments and laughed my head off (another part to replace). So, not only thanks to you, Pete, but to your commentators and their various flights of fancy.
    Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, I guess really we all could apply the same facts-from what I read in your posts, I have never considered you a “slow leak”-maybe we are all going too fast at first ,anyway. I do not blame you for fixing the tyre situation altogether. ( hey notice, I spelled that like a true Brit) haha!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. At least having a crack in the wheel means you have travelled a few interesting roads, if it was all perfectly surfaced roads the I doubt it would be as much fun. Ha, a well maintained road in the UK, as if 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. But seriously Pete nice post and excellent news about the mechanic. Its really nice to see there’s still people like that out there. Either that or your blog has a lot of reach and has businesses running scared to stay on your good side. 🙂 I wish you well in 2018 and hope to see you full of air for many more years to come.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Fabulous insight, Pete. One of life’s mysteries solved. It’s well enough a bother taking care of one’s body let alone realizing taking care of your mind is more important and much harder. I hope you feel inflated in 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a lovely thoughtful piece. I can feel the air/energy seeping out of me today and wonder how I can ‘change my wheel’ Things I used to do easily are now difficult and, even worse, things I used to enjoy don’t seem so much fun any more.I wrote a poem about it called “Creeping Cowardice” which is in our poetry anthology ( 120 copies now sold!) Even the thought of Christmas is not making me feel cheerful. I guess it is because we aren’t seeing our grandchildren until the weekend after. Are turkey and tinsel weekends any more exciting? I used to think Christmas was for families but we are so spread out it is getting harder and harder to make the effort to meet up!
    I’ll be better when I start writing again- if I ever do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much, Julie.
      Turkey and Tinsel does nothing for me, I’m afraid. I just wait for it all to be over, so I can get on with another year. 🙂
      You will start writing again when the time is right, I’m sure.
      Best wishes, Pete.


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