Keep Art Alive :: Art by Unknown
“I’m a firestarter,
You’re the firestarter,
There were times when Jane hated him, a scathing, burning kind of hate that ignited at the slightest touch. His breath on the back of her neck would make her want to scream, especially on the nights when he had finished off more than a bottle’s worth, and run the gamut of every intense kind of mood.
Jane would lie there next to him, pulling her body as close to the edge of the bed as she could, as far from him as she could manage without tumbling to the ground. As she lie awake, staring at the wall, at the small cracks in the blinds that let in shards of street lamp light from outside, she would plot out her escape. A spilled bottle, a clumsily tossed cigarette, a flick of a match, or a quick snap of that engraved lighter he gave Jane when they first met, and this whole place would go up in flames.
Would she be a phoenix then, rising from the flames, brushing ash and soot from her thrift shop coat, sprouting wings out the back of her Bauhaus tee shirt? Would Jane pull him out with her, dragging his body behind? Some nights she hid the truth that maybe she would leave him to burn.
She wouldn’t really though, she assured herself, no, not really.
Jane kept half-torn maps in her purse that she would unfold during her lunch breaks, marking possible destinations with a red felt-tip pen. Money was stashed away in taped envelopes, tucked into the back of a drawer, her “savings” (though he always ended up finding it, and spending it, leaving the top slashed open and an IOU slide back inside.
There was never enough IOUs for the days that were stolen and wasted.
Jane dreamed all the time of people from her past, all decked out in silvery clothing and loaded up with fantastical strengths and wisdom. In her dreams they were all coming to carry her away. Deep down, though, she had no real intention of leaving, no real plan to burn their world down. She wasn’t a fire-starter, nor any kind of phoenix within a flame. She is just a dark hearted mess of a girl who is there, with him, tethered and tied in something called “love“, stumbling and stuttering, loathing the invisible knots that keep her at his side, hoping for some kind of a spark.