Chapter Five

Before I became water I was encased in a thick layer of fog. After the fog I existed in another form before fluidity. I was ice. Somewhere in the mix of both worlds, trapped in a solid state of self transition that froze my cortical vein. The world glazed white with frost, the icy cold grass crunched upon each step, deafening perception. The sun in a constant haze, somewhere adrift, lost and fleeting. It hung in the air at high noon, desperately trying to peek out, to melt my soul, but was always choked out by a thick layer of dense fog. I learned that the fog was weakness; that it could be parted, from both ends. Someone else parted my fog, trying to illuminate my path. I recoiled. I felt betrayed by my own instinct.

I refused to enter the tunnels. They would only define my weakness. They would only show the moist anxiety of each breath. I strove for the stratosphere. I peaked my head up into the clouds, opened my mouth and breathed in the icy fog. My mind froze. My heart slowed, one beat a minute. The blood in my veins more viscous than ever, creeping slowly through the vast corridors of strained arteries. Cryogenically frozen in space I was free. Free from myself. Free from everything. When I climbed down the rungs of reality I touched the ground frozen solid. I thought I’d melt, the sweat from descent saturating, seep back into the Earth and drown in a deep, delicately distraught tunnel. I remained in a fixed state of death. Alive, moving, breathing, but morbidly dead. Frozen dead guy days here to come.

I carried on this way for a few months. During this time a contradiction occurred. Out of nowhere came the fire. I could feel the heat swirling around me. All at once the Sun blazed through the fog. The world knew the winter had waned, and saw that one specimen tried to divert from the plan. A snowman’s cheeky, fixed smile slopes downward when the groundhog appears. I tried to hide, yes, believe me I tried so desperately to hide. White ice burning red. The thought made me shudder. I hid from the sun, but the fire came out at night.

It was a routine gig. I’d go to the dimly lit acronym on Queen yielding a jug of red, clumsily filter through a thick smoke screen of jaded, jaundice seeking lepers and step up the box work to the checkerboard Sanctuary of familiarly flared frequencies over the crunching subwoofers. Even ice sometimes craves warmth from within. If I didn’t, I felt even the marrow in my bones would freeze, crack and I would be paralyzed in a fixed state of catatonia. I released through word, but it never was meant for interpretation. Until the fire came. Interruption.

The fire crept through the door, slid up the box work and burned bright just a few feet from where I stood. The fire seemed to grow, morphing in and out of itself; patiently the fire stood waiting. It was waiting for me. No one else around the fire felt the heat. As the literature spewed, icy cold water pooled onto the floor, spread out and soaked electricity. I shorted. Frequencies strangled, buzzing, humming harmonics. It was done, the musical interlude banished.

The fire took me where I was. It grabbed the red, devoured, and straightened back up. Everything craves fire. Even its antonym. The allure of flames flickering, dancing in the dark, cool night. It’s tongue lapping, licking languished lives. I watched, wondered, gazing at its’ intensity. She was a fiery inferno. I was cold as ice, hardened with angst. Her devilish side flared. I saw the flames burning bright. Hotter by the moment with deep desire. With the first kiss a crack tore up the side of my leg. Splintering ice, dripping droplets on the cold concrete. I looked down in haste, frustrated with emotion and glazed the crack with a thin bandaged layer of ice from within. Her fire was hot, but I wouldn’t allow it to penetrate my frozen heart. She would scorch it, set it ablaze, succulently feeding off shaved bits of oxygen. Her fire would grow stronger, more malevolent and singe every part of me until I was reduced to ashes.

She had the power to carve the sculpture of my body. In the night we danced, fire and ice, desperately trying to suffocate the other. I let her melt me, just enough to cool her down; to see the red hot flames momentarily turn blue. Through the night our colors changed repeatedly upon contact. My icy, pale blue skin, red with tenderness. Her hot, fierce red skin, blue with chilling vibrancy. For moments we became purple. Both of us, tangled, gnarled knots of desire, caught in a web of deep meditation. Purple. It couldn’t be. But it was. Try to avoid it. We liked our own colors; our vivacity was our originality to the other.

That night I never felt more connected to anything. It was one of the scariest moments in my life. I was caught in the ice of a winter past and pushed into the warmth of spring unexpectedly. Although I remained frozen for the better part of a year her fire melted me thin. Every embrace I became more sodden, saturated by desire.

I tried to bottle my melting self, carry it with me in the hopes of freezing solid again. I just couldn’t let go. I couldn’t give in to the fire. So different, so foreign an idea. It was a time when I loathed fire. I envied the passion, the freedom, the delicate balance between burning wild and restraining smother. I hated fire because I couldn’t be it. It meant that I needed to be connected. To anything. It meant that I would have to turn gaseous. Bubbling hot springs of scorching degree, from state to state, in a constant search of myself. I felt that the fire was contrived, and not that the ice wasn’t, it was different. The ice craved solitude, silence. The fire craved abundance, metal. Two elements that weren’t meant to coexist.

When the fire attempted to melt me I felt that it wasn’t out of real desire. I felt that it was a tactical feat, an obstacle of game. The hunt, the chase. To burn what couldn’t be. Cloaked in fire I started to feel. I started to see faces, limbs, sexual organs tangled in and around the flame. I cried, and ice melted from my face. I felt the warmth of infatuation and irritation, the thawing of self control. I feared myself. If the ice broke and melted from flame I may return to fog. I didn’t want any of it. Too much change, a shapeshifter dizzy from endless alchemy. I could vomit, but it would just be frozen shit all over me

Chapter Six