Candle in a dark space. It is pitch black night, cool and damp. This candle has never been lit before. Removing the lid, I light all three wicks with a flick of my hand. Black needles, or blades, poking up out of the white, scented wax. It smells like vanilla and lavender. The wicks surprisingly pop, spitting out little bits of ash and smoke. The golden white flames grow and shrink and sway. The closer I get, the hotter it feels. Like a shield of heat protecting its life source. These wicks go all the way down the glass tub of this candle. The hardened wax softens as science decreed it. Being careful as to not burn myself, I push the cooler edges of the wax with my pointer finger. Having softened, it gives and I am entertained my this concept. I begin to light more candles, even ones that have no wicks and are battery operated and electronic, until I am awash in a warm glow and the cool dampness is but a distant memory. I watch the flames wiggle and watch the mysterious shadows that are now cast on the wall in the dark. I do not make a sound and listen to the ticking of wall clock that I cannot see. I do not know what time it is. I do not care what time it is. The floor becomes a tub I now sink myself into. The water is warm and bubbly. Suds are filled to my neck as I close my eyes and flex my toes. I now live in the hardwood floor, attached to this impromptu bathtub. The candles watch over me, useless without their lit wicks. I pretend I am a flame and I dance back and forth in my mind, just like them. I let their movement overcome and hypnotize me, until I am surely asleep and dreaming of something else.
Rogue set still, draped in a cloak in the dead of a cold winter’s night. Hiding out. Even when he is in plain sight, he is hiding out. A woman silhouetted in a darkened kitchen turns and in the moonlight we can see her side profile, dimly. She is lost in Time, some 18th or 19th century wonder. Ghost immortal. Rogue ready to rob, ready to fight as soon as a spark snaps awake. Lighter fluid and firecrackers are nothing but fodder. Rebel, farmer going against the grain. Drummer, marching to the beat of his own. Hidden in plain view, they and we are everywhere. Daunting, haunting task force of self-importantizing ruffians. Sides are all about perspective. Climbing out onto branches and balconies and cliffs, I am stretched outward reaching, grasping for truth. Willing my shoulder to pop out, my forearm to grow and stretch further. Reaching the moon. Fingertips touch thin, rough bark. Wolf howls.
“The Taste of Ink” by The Used was quite a frequented song on my iPod as a teenager. I probably listened and cried / emoted to that song 100 times. Bert McCracken on Vans Warped Tour. I used to watch Fuse a lot in those days. I loved that channel. That was my MTV. In fact I preferred music television channels in this order then:
Those early 2000s. Probably ’04-’09, or so. Seems like yesterday, but seems like forever, seems like another lifetime. In any event, I think ink would taste a lot like how it smells…Trying to remember if ever in my lifetime I have tasted ink…It kind of smells like paint. Dullish, chemicalish, mellow and not bright.
In 4th grade (I suppose before PCs were ubiquitous), we began to write papers (or essays) in order to prepare for some Standardized test…GEPAs were 8th…HESPAs were 11th…I can’t remember when they were called in 4th grade…Guess I’ll have to look that one up. Prewrites were done on plain, smooth grey paper. This usually consisted of creating a plot diagram; A circled idea in the middle with lines going out to other circles/bubbles relating to that idea. Then came the rough draft done in print, in pencil, on yellow, lined paper. Once that was graded and marked up by the teacher, we were to complete our final drafts on our pristine, white, lined paper in cursive, using erasable pen. In 4th grade, erasable pen was a pretty big deal. I had a blue Bic erasable pen. Of course, the ink didn’t erase that well, but it was some recognition of growing up, not being a kid anymore. I wonder what they do in 4th grade nowadays. Well, now it’s all on the computer because everyone is schooling at home. I was in 4th grade from 2000-2001. Again, a lifetime ago. So far, it’s as if these memories are not my own. I remember exactly where I sat in English class, farthest from the door, closest to the window, Maybe 2 or 3 desks from the front of the room where the teacher’s desk sat. She was formidable, that teacher.
I actually saw her again, years and years –
She’s golden. Golden sunset sashays in timelapse drug-induced laughter-raising catapulted night. The golden hour capturing that moment where everyone can be photogenic. These moments must be worth more than actual gold because they are fleeting and not physical. Golden Girls marathon is definitely worth more than gold. It is timeless and I love them all. A glimmering rock of fool’s cold I used to have when I was child. I later grew tired of it and must’ve thrown it away in one of my many bedroom cleanouts. I think it would be interesting to see the timelapse of my childhood bedroom over the course of almost 30 years. It would be a fascinating watch. Diving into a book of the Sahara Desert, pictures of golden sand and the reflection of the sun, golden, glancing at its reflection in the water. Shimmering Time, hallucinogenic construct waiting to be found so it can allude everyone it meets. Comets stretch across the sky, violet heartbreak after the sun sets. Dancing reality.
My memories with saran wrap are a little more uncommon than most.
A lifetime sufferer of hyperhidrosis (hands and feet), around 2014 I was seeing a podiatrist and mentioned the problem, as it was impossible to examine my foot without noticing the elephant in the room. He was very gracious and told me not to be ashamed of it. He smiled and was kind and put me at ease. I was so nervous, always have been. Butterflies in my stomach, bees in my chest; He prescribed me a a prescription-grade topical cream to put on my hands and feet at night to prevent them from sweating over time. However, what I later learned after reading the instructions is that I would have to apply the cream at night time, and go to bed with hands and feet wrapped in saran wrap.
My already damp hands (damp now) with cream slathered (making them more wet and damp), and then with the uncomfortable, flimsy, clear shield of saran wrap – Sleeping was no longer enjoyable. I tried though. I really did. Until I couldn’t take it anymore, because truthfully the topical wasn’t helping. Nothing ever quite has helped it. I like to think I tried for a week or two, but ended up with a deep well of disappointment. The cream smelled like how you would imagine it to smell; prescription-grade medicine-like powdery sweet. The crinkling on my hands from the saran wrap uncomfortable, constantly slipping off. I couldn’t read before bed, or really do anything once I committed to the wrap. Tossing and turning and fidgeting like a leaf stuck in polluted river. Once morning came I was so eager to pull off my self-imposed restraints. In the past I have tried other creams and Botox needles. Carpe cream is something I should really give a go again, but it dries out my hands, turning them into paper-mache, thin rice crisp consistency, especially in the winter and spring when it’s cold. The tops of my hands are still struggling now as a combination of the weather and the constant washing of my hands.