Wildfire

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        He was like wildfire. He was incredible and blazing and fierce and gone in an instant. In a world of people with faraway eyes his shone with an inner inferno I’ll always remember. I didn’t want or choose to be taken in by him, but once he was near me I had no way to pull myself away. I was engulfed.

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     I met him in a place where I was already out of my comfort zone. I was surrounded by people who were intoxicated and out of control. Everything was off balance and I felt dizzy with the desire to run away. All I wanted to do was go home where I’d be safe, so I made my escape to the bus stop. Then I saw him, sitting on the cold bench waiting for a bus. I stood beside him, eyes fixed forward. But, out of the corner of my eye, I watched him. He had a certain presence about him. I could feel him there next to me, sitting alone, watching me as I watched him. He was intoxicating in his own way.

        He looked like he didn’t belong in this time or place. His jacket was worn brown denim, his hair was shoulder length and unkempt. He didn’t have a bag, or a phone, or anything in his hands. Was he lost? Was he just beyond needing things? When I accidentally caught his glance, our eyes locked, and it was then I saw the fire in them. He was fully sober, fully aware, totally present. And for some reason his intense focus on that night was on a girl at the bus stop who was trying to run. His focus was inexplicably on me. Somehow I was drawn in without hesitation, as if in a trance.

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        “Hi.” His voice cut through the air and jolted me. It was only a word, but in his mouth a word could sound like melted steel. I stared at him for a moment, unable to look away.

        “Hi.” I managed. My voice sounded small compared to his.

        That was really all it took. We began talking and couldn’t stop. We were mesmerized by that unspoken sense of belonging late night conversations always seem to have, when the harsh light of day is not there to inhibit real connections. It was the strangest, most delightful thing, our particular connection that night . For once, words came easily to me. Our conversation drifted from one topic to the next with a gentle rhythm like waves on a smooth shore. We spoke about nothing at first; waiting for the public transit, where we were coming from and where we were going. Then, we started talking about anything and everything. Feminism, miracles, karaoke, romantic falsity, world wars, Batman. He was brilliant. Every word he said sounded like poetry to me, every view he took was dynamic and refreshing. I never wanted him to stop talking to me.

        Then my bus came and I got on.

        I watched him as the bus drove me away. I watched him until he grew smaller and smaller. Then he was gone.

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        I found myself wondering if he had been a mirage, a perfect vision of humanity that could never have lasted, could never have been. Maybe I was only allowed a glimpse of him for that short time. It’s crazy to believe one moment with someone could be so different from any other encounter in my life. Whatever he was, he lit a spark of anticipation in me that burns to this day. Just knowing that somewhere out there a person like him exists is exciting. There is always the possibility of meeting someone out of nowhere who will alter us in an instant. Imagine all the strange and wonderful people like him, just waiting. Waiting at a bus stop, waiting on the train, waiting to change you. In one moment, you could meet the person who will engulf you like wildfire. It is both terrifying and thrilling to wait for.

By Ashley Foy // featuring artwork from  Jennifer Lauren 

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We are a creative hub urging you to fall in love with the fullness of who you are, a platform for introspection through all types of artistry. In essence, then, we press towards capturing the shared experience of the human condition with the appropriate blend of charm and raw honesty, offering ourselves and our subscribers a new way to conceive of and appreciate the richness of life, including even its tragedies.