in which i am a volcano

I was gonna write about how much I hate you. I was Vesuvius, poised, armed, and deadly, prepared to spew cauldrons upon cauldrons of searing, vile words meant only for you. As if that would do anything. As if by drafting the anatomy of my hatred, it would somehow dissipate. As if by hurling verbal fireballs at you, life will be better. There are people we love to bits. And then there are those we love to hate. And while I use the word hate sparingly on people, you remain one of those for whom it is reserved. History had a hand in this. But largely it’s human nature, I think. But I’m not gonna write about it. Not tonight. Not on any other night.

I will not write about it because, as divine intervention would have it, something happened tonight that stopped the molten rock of my hatred dead on its tracks. Something that made me realize (as if I didn’t know) that there’s more to life than this ferocious urge to claw your eyes out and use them for billiards.

Life is too short for meaningless eruptions. Time is too precious for needlessly explosive moments. Sure, there are people we want off the planet, but why waste energy on dreaming and scheming to make it happen, when we can use the energy to try to keep the people we do want on this Earth, to keep those we love to bits close, if not closer?

Don’t get me wrong. I still hate you. It is a hatred that burns with the fire of a thousand suns (or active volcanoes, in keeping with my metaphor). And I don’t know if I’ll ever stop hating you. But right now, I’m just choosing not to think about it and to bury the feeling under thick layers of quick-hardening ashes of self-preservation. Instead, I am thinking about how I might live life, burning for something that matters, or perhaps rising like a phoenix from the ashes. I am thinking about how I might fashion my life so that it is perpetually roused by love, like a firedancer in my belly.

I was gonna write about how much I hate you. But I refuse to be consumed by that kind of fire, the one where the only guaranteed outcome is that I lose myself and reduce who I am to ashes. Love is the only flame that is worth burning for.

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