Fire and I

Anna Lesiczka
20th April 2023

Fire and I

During normal days I continue one thing after another. I see progress and it makes me content. Everything is fine until something moves outside the frame. Sometimes I feel like playing a game, trying to keep everything inside it, killing what tries to move out. But when I lose it and follow the one going away, I have a chance to look at everything from the outside perspective. Standing there I can see that inside is no revelation, no surprise, no risk, no fire.

I haven’t felt anger  for a long time but as a child I had many incidents of wild aggression. Sometimes I hit or bit other people. My favorite thing has always been throwing a chair in somebody’s direction. I know that it was wrong and I was doing it for many trivial reasons.

It’s not very late but I am sitting in an empty apartment and hearing footsteps on the floor. They are tiny, more like animal steps than an adult’s heavy steps. At first I thought that after the cat went on vacation, the mice immediately came in. But I haven’t seen anything. The sounds can be a bit too loud for a mouse. When I FaceTimed a friend for a moment, he asked where I was because he saw a person passing behind my back. In general, I don’t try to deny anything.

Difficulties with handling emotions help me remember that I am small. Even if I keep learning to master it and have everything under control, I can’t fully embrace my nature. I don’t know what I should do, I can only recognise what I feel. And when I feel too much, I lose my senses.

When I was trying to identify the sound of the steps, trolls came to my mind as a possibility. I am not far away from the big lake, there are many rocks and old trees all around, some time ago there must have been caves. Thinking about the world inhabited by trolls, whose ghosts walk around my apartment now, calmed me down. The image was ridiculous, so the rest of the thoughts became ridiculous too. I didn’t stop hearing the steps and I read on the internet that trolls don’t like humans. I trusted that they can’t be on the opposite side while I believe in them.

I took a photo of the fire that my uncle made. Maybe it was two years ago or so, during winter. I was lying on a couch, alone in their living room. He came to make a fire in the fireplace and in the meantime, had a monologue that was probably supposed to be a conversation. Although I didn’t say a word. He was presenting his view on the modern world which was a hate speech. I didn’t say anything because all I wanted to do was to hit him. Therefore I remained silent and took a photo of the fire after he was done.

At some point, they will leave.

I don’t remember having serious doubts about the afterlife. But for me, it’s very unlikely that after death we will remain ourselves the way we are now. I know that most Christians think that each person has only one life, but I doubt it since I was a very little kid. I’ve always believed in many returns. My mom says that I am a heretic, mixing all beliefs into one. But why should I reject anything?

Therefore, unlike other Christians, I don’t believe that I will meet anybody on “the other side”. I envy those who are free of this anxiety but I have to call my parents every day to check if they still breathe and I successively check the availability of my friends on messenger and WhatsApp to estimate if they are alive.

But the most I fear losing I. For a long time I didn’t know that it is rare, but around 40 percent of the daytime I spend observing myself from the side. Sometimes I wonder who I was before, but it’s hard to believe that any of these lives could be any better.