A Strange Fire

Tonight I showered outside under the stars. As fascinating as that may seem to you, I assure you it was not all that; I bath outside all the time. Tonight presented itself to me as a gift; a gift for the poet and his stories of light and life. And so I say to you that tonight I bath outside, it was dark, it was not so cold and old Reggae music was playing somewhere down the road. As I took my nice little shower, I saw a strange flickering light off in the distance down the path- it was in the yard. The fluttering of the light made it seemed ‘flamy’. I concluded quickly that the fluttering lights were simply flames in the distance. All this I was seeing between the gap of a four hundred gallons rhino tank and a rock-I saw the glow clearly on the ground stretching towards the road. There was definitely a fire. A Strange Fire I thought; shit I should check this out and write about it. I’ll call it ‘A Strange Fire’, and dam do I have a story to tell you.


Tonight I showered outside under the stars. What made this night special was my musings on the concept of love. What really does it mean to be in love? And when I ask this, I don’t mean I’m asking myself. What it means is pretty clear to me. I’m really asking, what it means to you? The – you who is not I. And I thought to myself, one day I should tell my love story. I played with the thought, so much so I ran tiredly into sleep. I woke up late, but was so shit chilled I thought lets go bath outside under the night sky. It was dark, no moon tonight; and as I thought about love under the cloud covered night sky, I saw flickering lights. They looked like flames. I thought what the hell a fire is doing there. Then I heard the goat cry; and I was like why di hell di goat naa sleep. I have to check all this shit out. A dark night like this is the night of thieves; stealing a goat or two.  Such it was also a night of shadows, stealing a heart or two.


I asked my nephew to ready up the flashlight. I was going searching for that strange fire. I was now fully clothed and adventure in my heart. I moved towards the four hundred gallon rhino tank. Lights off, I was one with the shadows. Catching thieves was a matter of stealth; don’t want to scamper off unsuspecting criminals. As I moved beyond the water I saw a kindling fire. Oh, a flame in the bush at this hour. How strange. I flicked on the flashlight. The dog was sleeping; definitely no thief. Well – time to check out this flame that was clearly blazing before due to all that fluttering I saw. It is now a nicely kindled flame with a gentle glow off in the night.  Flashlight in hand, I hopped off.  I heard a rustle behind me, I jumped into a turn; it was Cooper, our dog – he’s following me. This was a proper adventure indeed. I drew closer to the fire. It was quite unspectacular. But who lit it? Who light fires at such an hour? What if it catches the whole yard on fire? I might as well look at these goats while I’m here outside I thought. I scanned the area. Goats were there, some standing some sleeping, nothing suspicious at all. But who lit this fire, I was certain I was going to get to the bottom of it all. I could afford to callously look at goats. Who set ablaze this strange fire that has one musing over the concept of love? That is a secret; and only a few people I tell secrets to. This story though is about what my love is, not who.



I was very unsatisfied with the abandonment of reason as understood as love. At seventeen I went on my own way, away from the romantic self. I was out for conquest; I called this self the Demon. By now I thought the self as a merely temporal being. A self is one with a body and occasionally with the right smell in the air, the heart flutters. I knew that self well. I wanted my own love, a love higher than the self, an eternal being. It was no less than a God; a Goddess actually. I called her Serenity. This was a love of cosmic scale. Then I was there. I could associate the romance movies with this. I would rather not be crying about it though, I rather be laughing; a laughing love, not a crying love. Then I remembered – you have no say in the action of the body in love. One might end up crying when they wanted to laugh- the thought crossed my mind. I smiled, my body laughed; we do that all the time, our game. I was over all my internal conflicts by the time I was twenty four. Body and mind wanted the same thing. We had forged an agreement long ago.


Serenity was just another self of mine. All in my head, both the lover and the loved was I. I knew what love meant to me and only me. So I tell my own stories of love, the story of a strange flame in the night. The story of my madness: the story of the sage, the demon and the romantic and my first love that united them all. Well not really, but I’m being romantic.  To tell you about my first love is to speak of love. My first love was realising there were indeed a realm of Gods and I could find Gods on earth. The right one existed. A singular human being you would give up your turn to but they rather a story instead. You may give but they take nothing, and they know they can take it all. It only just cost you a story and that story is the self. Once you know it you can give it endlessly. Each one was different from the last, each your first love- each the right one. Only the situation had changed; love was the connection and not the objectification. My first love is my only love- One love. I surmise that the connection comes in many forms for people. The story of love is the story of poets, philosophers and priest – each with their own telling. This is the love of poets; the readers will understand and not get lost in the situation. The circumstance is just an introduction, a situation of love: one where you must first find yourself or remain lonely and lost. Then you find others. What love was to me was clear – a connection. Who lit this fire was no hard task to unveil.



So I turned my flashlight towards the house and walked back. I was going to ask my mother who lit this fire in di yard. So I shouted to her window, my father inside obviously thinking I’m mad as usual. The peculiarities of my ways always invoke the thought of madness. It doesn’t bother me one bit. Mommy a you light fire in the yard? I shouted. She told me it was my brother who lit it. It was there while, since before sundown apparently. She put water around the edges earlier so it doesn’t get out of hand. Its fine, it won’t burn down the yard. The fire was tamed. I could go to bed. The fire was there all along, I just didn’t notice. As I showered in the dark night a rusty breeze might have stirred the kindling flame to blaze into a flickering light and so drawing my attention to a strange fire. A fire that was kindling in my heart with a dim glow a long while. So I figure I’d go have a nice shower and one day tell my love story. Of how I encountered beautiful minds as I did beautiful bodies. I find there are different flavours of love. Some prefer the passion of giving away your turn to another; others prefer the reason of a beautiful minds free of conflict. Just the circumstances are different; it is the connection that matters. It takes at least two people to love. All that is asked for is a story, a story of the self. Tonight under the darkness of the night I felt like a thief, out to capture hearts and minds. I felt like to sing a song of the poet; to pluck from my mind the most sacred of thoughts. To tell the tale of the Romantic, the story of a strange fire that did not burn the whole yard, yet still a dangerous flame. I know who lit the fire and what caused it to blaze. It is a secret. A secret only to those that do not know my madness; to those I haven’t told a story. A secrete only to strangers.

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