Lit Fuel by Nancy Schatz Alton
“The dissimilarity of feeling that might underlie the similarities of expression—
reading that in Madame Bovary brought to mind the lost art of burning a bridge; so this may be a good time to let you know you’ve been increasingly not on my mind.
One life to live is not an exaggeration—it is a hot notion—with success and excitement in exchange for a future damnation too remote to worry about.” -from “Lost Art” by Eric Amling
All the books talk of endearing friendship. How she saved my life. How we were bridges for each other, liminal spaces. And we are right now having a sleepover. With chocolate. Or no dairy. A vegan feast with chai coconut-based tea.
But what if bridges were meant to be burned? What if we could only take each other so far, and the hate I feel for you was just the fuel needed to burn that bridge at last and for real?
Oh, I use too many words. I read “Everything I do is free.” This line makes me free at last. Just this morning I realized someone might really hate me. I told my daughter and she said, “No.”
But maybe: maybe yes. Maybe the tea of my being is too caffeinated for some people. Maybe I am too emotional, too me. And the me of it is fantastic. Am I too much for you?
Thank god. Thank goodness. Thank goddess.
The years are running out. I’d like to know if you don’t like me. Because I am so nice and I have spent so many years hoping I have not hurt your feelings. Or I have hurt your feelings. And I do apologize. I mean, this may sound shallow to you. Or too happy.
You see: I am happy.
I am happy to be done with all the bridges I burned. I tell you: I never lit a match on purpose.
But now I am free.
And you are free of me.
We burned each other up.
We left a trail like a comet burning itself out in the clear night sky.
Make a wish on the light that is no longer there.
This one is for you: I give you my lit fuel.