Fire Dancer

There’s the one where I miss the plane and panic, and then there’s the one where I miss it on purpose and laugh all the way to a sexy little wine bar where I kiss a stranger dead on the mouth.

The latest one seems to be that for the life of me I cannot get a flight out of Italy. No clue how I got there in the first place but I’m desperate to get out because, for some strange reason, everywhere I go I’m so tall that I tower over everybody else and on top of that I’m wearing sky high heels which get caught in gutters and cobblestones and make it nearly impossible to walk without stumbling.

I don’t know why I decide that if I could just get out of Italy this freak phenomenon would correct itself. Ridiculous and also quite maddening. as most ridiculous situations tend to ultimately be. I cannot remove the shoes. My lipstick is fierce tomato red. I don’t know how I know this without looking. But I do.

Sleep comes a little easier these days and I’m so grateful for it. It’s that gorgeous time of year when you can sleep with the windows open because the temperatures at night are in the low 60’s and the air is crisp with a touch of smoke from fires always smoldering off in the distance no matter the hour. I fill the house with apple cider scents and pumpkin spice candles. Everything is burnt yellows, rich blood-oranges, and sumptuous crimsons.

We light fires in the evening, play music for each other as the suns sinks out of sight and the sky turns electric fuchsia for a few minutes before easing into soft plums, then finally into the heavy dark blue vastness of star studded twilight. In the back of my mind, I wonder what all of it means and what will come next. I worry about the stupid things like everybody else – money and future and whether or not any of my choices have been the right ones all along.

But the trick is defining right and wrong when you feel like the compass inside of you is less and less synced with the compass of the people around you. You know you exist within society, that you have a voice and all that, and some may even try to convince you it matters, yet all the while it feels like you don’t quite fit the mold they were hoping you might so to voice your voice seems a mute point.

You consider chopping your hair off. You consider torching all of your clothes and starting from scratch with your wardrobe and diet and aesthetic overall. More gleam and less uncertainty. More ink and less conformity.

You forget not only what day it is but what month in what year. This occurs more regularly than not. You zone out in meetings and choke on the coffee which is as sickly stale as the gray-beige walls and industrial carpeting beneath your feet.

Time, which used to stretch out endlessly in front of you, suddenly seems threatening to telescope back in on itself, landing you right back at the start of something you struggle to remember, let alone define, all progress in any direction be damned. There is an eerie immediacy to absolutely everything, out of the blue, and you just didn’t feel ready for this kind of thing to settle in on you like a constant buzzing sensation clutching underneath your skin.

We all have our troubles, of course, and no one is perfect least of all the ones who try so desperately to fuck around with perfection. We all have our demons and we all have our fears. Perhaps there’s some kind of comfort in that, slim as it may be.

A few seconds after I inhale, the sacred smoke blossoms in my lungs like a fragrant earthy flower. I stare into the fire which is now roaring in a heavy blaze at my feet, as a tiny little spider, swift and black as death, crawls right into the raging flames.

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