So, We Burn It All

The page glares at me from behind my open tab in Firefox, so I delete it without looking. I’m in the middle of an emotional embargo and I will not be the first to fold. I follow his online footsteps and grumble at his shadow, curse the thoughts he is sharing with the world but not with me. My fingertips pound at the keyboard as I erase the beginnings of a message. I shut the screen and wander downstairs. I need to live this real life. I need to be present.

I already hate it here. I take the wet snow as a personal insult and my blood boils late at night with the stress of loving and leaving and having nowhere to go. I run on a machine and miss the smell of maple trees and the cool rain in my face. My feet move in circles and I watch the people out the window waiting across the street for a bus:

A man with a worn brown coat and a florescent orange hat pulled low over his ears, rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet, ready to run and waiting for the gun.

A plump, mousey-haired woman, big in the bust. I imagine hugging her and how it must feel like falling into a newly made bed.

An angry-looking girl in the glass shifting from side to side, wearing hand-me-downs from a sibling.

I want to love them all. I want to strip them of layers and defences, get down to the nitty-gritty scar tissue that heals up and over all the heartache. I want to follow the trails of veins in their wrists with my fingertip. I want to open them like musty, dust-covered books and break the spine. Spill the pages in puddles of unread words on the floor and set it all alight.

I want to burn this town and walk away without looking back, orange flames reaching for the stars and everything else in flickering shadow. Burn it to the ground.

You aren’t sandy deserts anymore, not in my mind. You are cool rivers burbling over smooth stones, powerful currents dragging at fishermen’s lines and carrying all manners of violence away. Foaming white rapids with all your salmon struggling upstream. I beat myself against your hidden rocks. I drown with the effort of staying afloat, gasping in lungfuls of water.

But, I burn. I burn and I burn and you’re the only one that can put the fires out. You’re the only one who still knows how.

Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal

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9 thoughts on “So, We Burn It All”

  1. Before I launch into massive personal sentiments, I have to admit that I don’t know how to respond to your posts sometimes. I just want to give you a hug, or rip my heart out because it’s beating to much… or things that words can’t express.

    I think that’s a sign of getting through to someone…when your words take away theirs. It still doesn’t prevent the fact that I feel I inadequately express my responses to your writing.

    Ok, so Fleet Foxes anecdote:

    I’ve been diagnosed with various stress disorders in my life. Social Anxiety, general anxiety. I may be free of all of them now, but I wasn’t when I decided my personality was too addictive to take medications.

    The doctors looked at me funny when I said this, then prescribed yoga. They said is as if it was a sarcastic sentiment. “Yoga” (because you refuse to take drugs)

    So I took yoga classes, which stressed me out more. I couldn’t center. Until Fleet Foxes.

    The first time I heard Fleet Foxes was at Yoga For The People, the hippiest of yoga places in the east village, my first time there. Life changed after that.

    Apparently, I can find zen when there’s Fleet Foxes. F-Itunes section, all the way…

    (hugs)

    1. I love your comments. Especially this one. I go through fits of comment-replying but even when I don’t reply I am fond of all of them. I get the same feeling when I read your posts. I’m not sure what to write other than “Wow.” or “Holy poop.” or “You know just how to carve off the top layer of my heart to get right down to the core, don’t you?”

      Fleet Foxes are amazing. Their sound is completely zen-accessible. I actually haven’t done Yoga yet though I keep planning on it.

      Can I give you props for opting out of the drug-plan? That’s an incredibly strong thing to do. Doctors scare me. Doctors peddling drugs scare me more.

      I don’t have much else to say. You’re awesome. Let’s be friends.

  2. Some people will think I’m just being the typically male pervert I admittedly am when I say that easily my favorite part of this entry was your description of the woman at the bus stop who was “big in the bust.”

    But, really, it was my favorite part because of the imaginative, thoughtful and inspired way in which you communicate ideas and imagery.

    1. We’re both perverted then because that’s my favourite part too. There’s something about slightly dumpy big bosomed women. They look so comfortable. Something you want to curl up in like a cat.

  3. Y’know, I’m rather uncomfortable using a definition of love that includes ’emotional embargo’. Life is short. Love wildly or don’t waste your time with it. (That said, I firmly believe there’s never just ‘one’.)

    Also, I would kill for some snow right now. Please export some.

    1. There is no right or wrong way to love. We love until we don’t can’t and then we love some more. The thing about love is that you don’t usually have much of a choice in the matter. We can’t control how we feel, only what we do or act on… thus, the emotional embargo. I can control my actions and reactions but I can’t control the way I feel and when you do, when you try to, that’s when things start to burn.

      1. Never said it was right or wrong, just that I don’t treat love like that. (I’d say it’s one of very few things you can really control.)

        If a little boy pulls a little girl’s hair, some might say he was being mean, and thwack him in return. Others would say he has a crush on her, and act accordingly. Both are ‘right’, (and you said pretty much the same thing in your earlier post about flying. )

        You can give your heart endlessly, or shut it away. You can choose to love, and it is perhaps the most beautiful choice there is. [But that’s just how I see things; no more valid than the way life happens for you, or the man leaping off the cliff.]

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