Things We Lose in the Fire: A Funny Funeral

You –

You’re losing it. As if your hand is atrophying, that tight grip you once held around your sanity is weakening. What are you going to do if this is it? If this is the moment you drive by your house without even a glance over, and you keep going? You drive until there is no gas, and then you walk, and when your feet hurt, you walk one more mile and you call that place “home.” It smells of burnt wood and dryer sheets and minimalism. It smells of a beauty you’ve never known.

Every Shire word more potent than the last and every tequila shot setting you up for too high a tolerance. All those highlighted Neruda poems in that big book addressed to an apartment in Virginia can now be destroyed. This will be one of the things you lose in the fire. Stoke it and don’t stop until you’ve added almost everything. Until 7,498 photos are all that remain because you know burning them won’t mean those moments never happened. Because the people in those photos, though flawed to their core, believe they are still worth loving, saving, and holding onto.

You are dark with dark places. Your soul has shadows when your face refuses the sun. My god, you are delicate.

Compassion, or humanity, doesn’t suit you. You wear it like the suit they give prisoners when they need to attend funerals. You tried. You stepped into it with audacity. You were hopeful and it made you ugly and soft and you second guessed yourself. Strip down to your nothingness and tend the fire or dance around it.

Dance naked in a place that fills the space between your toes with cool mud and the space between your teeth with sweet coconut meat. Tend the fire. After the memories are ashed, heave in the leaves from the heftiest pile first. Tend the fire. Keep count of everything you lose to it. Hold a small funeral for it all.


Tell someone Autumn has you as afraid as you are mesmerized. Tell them you once sat naked under a tree and listened as she explained how beautiful it can be to let lifeless things die. A giving tree.

A bicycle down a tree-lined street on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the middle of October is better than any Heaven any god could offer you. It’s important you remember that.

You’re losing it, but it won’t be in Autumn. Hold on tight for the next 89 days, 20 hours, 28 minutes.

Collect leaves. Tend.

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