The tire

The room was home to a remarkably large, old, industrial tire, standing on its many thousand small, ribbed treads. It faced you like an exhausted giant, still able to stand on its own, yet strained and sagging at the base.

It was partially embedded in the ground. The surface of the thick concrete had long ago cracked into hundreds of pieces. Through some unknown force the concrete had risen up like columns around the base of the tire, like the ancient Basalt columns of Yosemite.

The dingy, oily motor attached to the rear of the tire was to blame for this upheaval of rubber and cement. Mounted in the center, it caused the tire to shake violently and rapidly. The man said this contraption was for testing the durability of the products he made. He’d put them inside the center of the tire and subject them to horrible stresses.

But the result of his work was a gorgeous sight to behold, unintended as it was. The ruins of concrete fingers reaching up to grab the tire, surrounding it, holding it, begging it to stop quaking and burrowing any deeper.