Setting fire to the past

Accumulation. Of bits and bobs throughout life. Some of us resist the urge to collect more than others.


The writer has been trying to be extra good, now that she is what she always wanted to be: creatively active. She collects one pile of useless papers, with very important information on them, like personal stuff, and distributes them among an array of piles in various corners of her apartment. And tonight she goes outside and sets fire to them. After stuffing them into a Swedish tin bin.


She strikes a match: What a thrill it is to see the flames pick up force. Suddenly a gush of wind sweeps through, tousles her perfectly styled hairdo and gives the fire reason to breath. That scares her and she pours water over it. The watering pot had been set aside for any such occasion in particular. Distinguishing salvation and sounds form into black mush. Ziiwoooossshhh! Papery mush with a distinct odour. And you can still decipher her name on the mush.


Clearly, her intent to have her past go up in flames goes up in flames. The writer plops the bloppy result into the trash cans and wades back upstairs. The porcelain poodle on her wall eyes her with disdain. She understands his disappointment. However, home feels lighter after all.


Sipping her Dutch friend’s cheap red wine helps, too. Yet she wonders, why do we hold on to things so vehemently? They don’t make for a good life. Feelings do. Words might. Actions, definitely. People. Oh, absolutely.


The writer is starting to forget. She wonders if this will one day dictate her fate. So be it. As long as she remembers the smiles of those, who came along for the ride and did not singe Swedish furnishings or eyebrows in the process.