See the flames? It won’t burn down right away because it takes a few hours for the fire to work its way through the walls. Just stay behind these bushes and don’t let the fire see you. Just watch. Yes, I’ve done this before. I’ve done this dozens of times. Why? It’s the surge I get of that rare satisfaction that seemed to have disappeared forever. That’s what makes it all worth it. It’s the incredible thrill of power and that feeling of victory after watching the fire prevail that I yearn for. It’s been a while since I’ve had the urge to do this. Everything seemed so perfect at the time, until one day the feeling came back. I could never figure out why I wanted to run away forever. All my life I wanted to disappear. Lots of people are scared of being forgotten, but I always wanted to know what it is like. What do you think it’s like to just crumble and vanish into smoke, like the fire we made. Would people remember you? How long would it take for them to realize you’re gone? I wanted to let go of the family that was tying me down with rules and ridicule and just float by myself. I wanted to run away and start over. I didn’t think my parents would ever notice that I disappeared, and so I decided to try it. I was free. My body was free to do whatever I told it to do. As I carefully poured the gasoline onto the floor of the old shack I felt the surge of happiness I had been looking for. The gasoline bubbled and reflected the roof of the shack. The thought of what I was going to do made me giddy. I remember pausing before lighting the gas on fire and taking one last look at the shack. The shack was completely helpless. It couldn’t do a thing to stop what I was going to do. I tossed the match onto the floor and laughed as I ran away. I sat behind the bush just as we are doing now watching the fire work its magic. Nobody came to put the fire out. I got to watch the shack slowly die into a pile of lifeless ash. Inside I felt a rush of life flood back into my body. I had found a way to make myself happy. I wish the happiness could have stayed.
November 11, 2009