Entry 13: I am one person. Supposedly, I can move a nation. Think of what one person is capable of with the right tools, techniques, and knowledge. One person could do a lot of damage. I’m laying on the cold tile of my patio. I feel my lungs compress as my weight bears down. The temperature offers temporary reprieve from the over bearing heat. I stare at a single thin, white, candle. The flame flickers sporadically from occasional bursts of air escaping the air conditioning unit in the corner. It is pitch black in the patio except for this flame and the five feet around it. I see faint outlines of stones in the backyard from the moonlight. Turn my attention back to the flickering flame.
A soft child’s lullaby begins to play in my head. Hush little baby, don’t say a word. Across the flame I’m seeing myself, three years old, a smile pushes my round cheeks. Unstable fingers reach out for balance against a mother’s leg. Skip forward as the flame wavers and for a split second hangs on the brink of extinction. Flare up and I’m in the sixth grade, smiling at my very own locker, still have the smell of new notebooks perforating the air. Meet the girl who will wind up saving my life years later. Meet the boy who will give me my first kiss. That day in the sixth grade felt like just another day. But looking back, that day defined my life for the next seven years. Flash forward, I’m crossing the stage, diploma in hand, headed to college. Now I see myself, flying off a rope swing into the river, driving to find a job, driving to find a friend, laughing into a campfire surrounded by those who know me most.
I sigh and realize that my campfire is just a flame, flickering madly on the floor of a glassed-in patio. I am going nowhere fast and it is killing me. For Christ’s sake I spent an hour laying on the ground staring at a candle.