Chapter One: Leather Couch

Chapter One: Leather Couch

I don’t know. It happened back when things were easy. When things were more simple. I even used to smoke.  Now I can’t bear the idea of a tiny flame inches from my mouth. I don’t know how people can do it. I guess it’s because they haven’t seen what I’ve seen.

I can’t even stand the idea of seeing my breath on cold days. I imagine that my insides are burning; that my blood isn’t blood, but flames. And the air I see is smoke. That my insides are burning. Makes sense. I produce heat as everybody does… Fire is hot. More than hot. Destructive.  I hope I’m not destructive. I drink water constantly hoping that it will stop. I don’t care if my body is 70% water. I wear long sleeves and pants all the time. But that is to keep smothering the potential flames.

I made my move from California to here. I couldn’t stand the idea of all those forest fires and the miles and miles of ocean. Didn’t make sense to me. Here, I almost have a 360 degree escape. Yet, I’m trapped if the fire comes from Sampson and heads south. I’m quite a good swimmer though. That’s the only place I feel even remotely safe, holding my breath under fresh water. Ironic. Anyway, if anything like that happens, I have confidence I could swim to Westport. But this place seems the safest I could find on the map.

I’m paranoid of everything. I’m afraid if I’m out in the sun too long that my skin will catch fire. They don’t call it sunburn for nothing. When I see the fog in the morning I have to calm myself and keep telling myself the truth. I have to keep myself from hyperventilating. The only place I feel safe is the beach. I imagine the clouds are smoke. That it’s burning in Heaven. I don’t even own an oven. Why do people have bon fires? Did you know that the Indians made fires to communicate with each other over long distances? Crazy.

Ever thought of a volcano? How can something even hotter than a forest fire be something that creates? Hawaii continues to grow in size. Doesn’t make sense. I don’t like things that don’t make sense.

Ever thought of the Salem Witch Trials? They would burn “witches”. Burn them! Not because they were witches but only because they were paranoid. What an incredible price to pay because of someone else’s irrational phobias.

I try not to affect other people by my own. But I don’t think it’s irrational. Millions have suffered because of fire. Ask California. Shouldn’t you fear something that could hurt you? Why wouldn’t you? That in itself is irrational.

Unlike everybody else, I hate sunrises and sunsets. They remind me of somewhere over the ocean that is on fire. People dying. Is that irrational? Well… what is rational?

It’s stupid that people make their houses out of wood and also that they throw wood into their fires. Doesn’t anyone connect the two?

Was the Dutch crazy in making their shoes wooden? Seriously.

Could I get a glass of water?…. Thanks.

Maybe California is going to hell. All of them. All of it, I mean. With all their fires it seems they’re already there. Everybody says that they’ll break off of the continental US. Maybe they’ll be burning while they’re floating away. Then sink in flames. Maybe the state will be too hot that when they sink the water won’t quench the flames. Maybe.  Do you think they’ll deserve it?

Do you think it was really an “Ice Age” that killed the dinosaurs? Some say it was a meteor shower. Swallowed up all of them in flame and smoke and dust. I wonder what they did to deserve all of that. I’d rather not go like that, even though the Good Book says we will. I’d rather be frozen. Maybe they’ll be survivors and they could unfreeze me and I’ll be in a world of ice with zero chance of fire or smoke of any kind.

Is the White House made of wood? I don’t think so. It looks like it’s made of marble. It should be made of wood.

When I’m on my boat at Grays Harbor or the Pacific and fog is all over I imagine that the whole continent is on fire. All of it. I freak myself out. I have to call people. I cry to myself, knowing that I was the lucky one who just happened to be out on his boat. But I know that I’m safe. I’m surrounded by water. I’d be safe. But where would I go? I couldn’t eat raw fish… well, there is sushi. I don’t know.

When I hold my palms close together they create heat. I haven’t done it in a while. It scares me. Don’t try it in front of me. Please.

Heartburn takes me to the emergency room.

I detest spicy food.

I walk everywhere. But I don’t walk often. Are you crazy!? So much smoke from the other cars. I’m still debating which is safer: to drive or to walk. I don’t feel safe driving anything with fire under the front and smoke… okay, exhaust, coming from the back. It’s like being in a huge cigarette.

I don’t like talking about this…. But I will…. if it will help.


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