Posts Tagged ‘fire’

Nocturnal Admissions: Kindling at the Ready

September 27, 2013


I have had a rather strange week. Strange only in contrast to the week prior, full of professional oddity and the type of strange that has somehow become my norm.

This was an inadvertent, self-imposed variation of a semi-solitary confinement of sorts. I didn’t try to cut myself off from the outside world, save for brief moments of self-supposed wit and charm via the social satellites of love…

I just did.

I’ve mentioned in recent posts that, save for poems and short chapters, I have been a bit at a loss for words.

It’s not that they aren’t there; there are simply far too many. Far too many unfinished chapters and half-started explorations stemming from a mind that moves faster than the hand, whether by ink or keyboard.

I am, by trade and reputation, an emotional, passionate man. I am learning from experience that I am best admired from afar, lest you see the unavoidable truths of the temperament found within me; found within a complex man in search of simple things.

I am, by trade and reputation, a tornado.

But this week, without planning such, my emotion has been vacant, my passion focused and quiet. There have been brief moments of contentment, longing, angst and melancholy, but they only creep out like a soft light emanating from underneath a bedroom door.

Without trying, I’ve spent the week in a cosmic ambivalence, by and large, shrugging the universe off in trade of simple images that say more than my words ever could.

More than they ever should.

Loud images, in a quiet place, my mind focused on nothing but.


It is an artist’s burden to feel so damned much all the time. It allows us to display these emotions, explain them, or at least show the world they exist, so they can feel them too.

Or perhaps, know they aren’t alone.

Without, of course, the privileges and benefits of slowly going crazy as a result.


Emotional ambiguity. To exist in this state for too long is a tragedy for any man or woman. But for me, right now, it’s kind of necessary. Even were it not, I am here nonetheless.

I’ve thought too hard. Longed too hard. Spoke too hard. Loved too hard. Lost too hard.

Sometimes I drink too hard, and perhaps I simply live too hard.

It can make a man tired.


Sometimes, when I feel everything, I need a little time to feel nothing.


It’s a farce. Deep down, I know better.

Hard as I may try, to stop feeling altogether would be to stop living.

And regardless of how one lives, for this brief moment in time, we are alive.

Perhaps this emotional dissidence is merely a temporary calm before a rather large storm.

The biggest blazes all start with a spark, and I am but kindling at the ready.


PFTIB: A Short Work of Fiction, Vol. 7

December 12, 2009

London during the holidays is everything one might expect and hope for, transforming magically into a Dickens Village. Greenery outlined the city while chestnuts roasted at nearly every tube stop filling the air, mixing with the exhaust fumes of city buses and cabs.

Buskers were replaced by carolers.

It was a warm, traditional Christmas lacking in the Americanized opulence of lights and plastic Santas.

Though I was having a hard time adjusting to Happy Christmas over Merry Christmas.

For as good as we Americans have been at dumbing down the English language to it’s most simple terms, you’d think it would have been the other way around. Merry has such a nice, proper sounding ring to it.

I guess that meant ours wasn’t merry.

Semantics aside…

Our pub’s fireplace was lit first thing every morning, as fresh coal was delivered by soot covered Brits resembling the chimney sweeps from Mary Poppins. Due to air pollution, wood was against the law.

But fire is fire, and our’s was warm—crackling and popping a friendly invitation to sit next to it, pint in hand.

“We should do something. It’s Christmas,” Stan said one dreary mid-December twilight. It was the dead part of the shift. Three of us were working, and we outnumbered the customers.

In front of me sat a row of glass pitchers, each filled with a special spiced, mulled wine, handmade by the Pub’s cook, Scotty. He was an aspiring film maker from Wisconsin.

He had been working there longer than anyone, but always as a cook. He wanted to be a bartender or cellarman like the rest of us, but he was just too good at what he did.

“We could go to that cabin in Bristol with the rest of the staff,” I said, pouring myself a mug of wine and sticking it under the espresso machine’s steam wand, turning it on with a hiss.

“We see them everyday,” Stan responded, handing me another glass. “We see them when we’re at work, we see them when we’re off work…this is our first Christmas away from home. We need to do something.”

The last time Stan said we needed to do something, I ended up on a plane with little more than a passport and a backpack, fleeing the country.

“What do you suggest, old pal?” I asked, as the steam wand sputtered out.

Stan took a drink and looked at the front window, the dark of the night transforming it into a mirror.

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Age Before Beauty

March 24, 2008


When I was younger, I did a lot of things. Mine was a life full of rich, unusual stories.

Not unlike anyone else.

I lived abroad, and wore every hat imaginable. I walked across hot coals, spent a Christmas in Amsterdam and paid a small, possibly homeless child to electrocute me with a car battery while on a tequila binge in Mexico.

I sought out the strangest of miracles at every turn. I lived recklessly and in excess, and developed more fantastic memories and experiences than time allows mention.

Somewhere along the line, however, my memories have softened into Hallmark moments. My experiences are all work related; they’ve become little more than marketable skills–a job history on a resume.

It’s not unlike earning merit badges when I was a cub scout, though these days my merit badges are computer knowledge and job-related work history.

It’s got to be an age thing. Most of my friends are experiencing the same G-rated conversion in life, though most of them have done so due in no small part to that whole procreation thing. We used to drink till dawn and dine with the gods. Now, we go to brunch at kid-friendly restaurants.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that don’t get me wrong.

My point isn’t about making babies. We can burn that bridge some other time.

My point is that where I once howled at the moon, I now scream at traffic. Once I walked on fire, now I walk on eggshells. The occurrences in my life have become predictable and safe–normal.

And lord knows, I’m not a normal person.

There is very little chaotic beauty out there, brought about by a random series of events that time together to create those miracles.

I can’t remember the last time one of my stories ended with, “and then a one-armed midget pulled me out of the snow drift.” There’s no “random” hiding around any corners.

Or maybe I’m just not looking hard enough.