Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Eleven More and I'll Be Free - Chapter 1

It's these nights that get to me.  Not the hot ones, not the sweltering summer nights.  I love to feel the sun's warm blanket wrap around me while I sleep.  I sleep sweet dreams when that happens. 

But these nights?  The cool ones with the bite of woodsmoke in the air?  I can't sleep.  I get restless and I hear my mind's voice tell me just to sleep, to forget about the desire.  But I simply cannot.  These are the nights when I get in my car and drive.

Just look at this city, so peaceful in the hoar of an October night.  I know lovers are spooned warmly in bed, cozy in flannel and down and desire.  I know puppies curl up in the arms of sleeping children to hide from the cold of night.  I see the lights of this proud city.

And I want to watch it all burn.  I want to watch as the flames lick slowly at first, growing ever higher to combat the frost in the air.  I want to watch the lifeforce of fire become an all-consuming singularity.

Cold and rainy takes me to an all-time low.  Nature fighting the incinerating purity of flame. Upsetting the balance.

The first time I tasted the bloodlust (and it does have a flavor, salty and metallic not unlike blood itself) it was by accident.  Left a gas can in the yard too long the summer I was nine, out mowing the lawn.  When my father started to yell at me about the vent cap and pressure and vapor, shaking the can at me, I watched it blow apart in his hand.  That life-affirming force in the form of thunderclap and fireball grabbed me then, still grabs me now.  I look in the faces of humanity and see nothing but hatred and contempt for me.  In the life of fire, there is an equality.  Fire never treated me better or worse than anyone else.

I've never met any of my prey, not purposely.  I know that if it becomes personal, the pain I would have to inflict would be so heavy their souls would cry.  I like clean, quick precise; like gas can shrapnel between the eyes.  And I like the burn.  The fire that rages afterward if you plan just right.

I've tried to fight the urges before, tried to raise the fire inside with alcohol, a 90-proof inferno.  The disarray of dreams that fills the mind at reast becomes so much more lucide, the surreal seeming so real when senses are dulled.  The one and only time I got drunk was the one and only time I got careless.  The news reports two days later told of horrid disfigurement, not the quick and enduring pain that precedes death when quality work is at play.  The cell phone he used while driving over my creation was never found.

Neither was the hand that held it.

I can't tell anyone about my pastime, people are too quick to judge.  They'd tell me my hobby is wrong.  But every person has the same bloodlust raging inside.  Think about the last time you gawked at an overturned truck.  Or when you lost your temper when traffic on the interstate was stopped, making you late.  You decreed that heads would roll if that accident wasn't gruesome, if someone else's suffering wasn't worse than yours at that moment.

You're as guilty as everyone else, so who are you to judge?