Wednesday, October 7, 2015
I met Fire when I was in second grade. What was first a spark by a flint right next to my heart grew into towering inferno that tore through the village of my life and left nothing standing. He then punched me in the face when I first saw my neighbor, Marilyn. You won't believe this, but Marilyn invited me over to play with her on a polar bear rug, in front of the fireplace. We lived in Alaska, so this was not so strange back then. To show how much I liked her, how much my chest was on seven-year-old fire, I threw rocks at her on the playground. I don't remember if she returned my affections after that. Fire simmered down for a while in my late single-digit years, but came roaring back when another neighbor, now in St. Louis, showed me her pug-dog, Smokey. Barb liked pink frilly things and took me to her basement. It was convenient that she lived next door so both of our houses could burn at once. Again Fire banked the embers until we moved to DC where I touched Marjorie's breast. Fire left me in ashes. She dumped me for an older guy, so Fire brought in his criminal brother, Grief, to mess me up and leave me in rags on the front porch. I tried to stay clear of Fire after that. You know how that goes. He moved up a bit and now lit the attic of my desires in the form of pen and ink. Good Goddamn but that fire won't die down and has left me in a world lit with Promise, some street person that won't go away. Together they feast on my days, savoring each of them on a fork, one at a time, like priests overseeing a blood sacrifice. They wait, wondering when I might again join them, toss a few words onto the perennial embers, lie down once more on the stone.