This matchbox hates me

Magdalen_with_the_Smoking_Flame_c1640_Georges_de_La_Tour

This matchbox hates me. I turn it over and over in my fingers. White cardboard all the way around, one side roughs up my skin as I pass over. It hates me, and it taunts me.

I already burned myself three times. I can’t get the damned thing to light. I’m a fraud, and I’m useless, and the matchbox knows it. I don’t smoke. I’ve got lightbulbs and a heater and an electrical current. I’ve never dreamed of setting anything ablaze.

I look down at the broken bits of wood lying in the sink.

I’m too nice. A matchbox isn’t interested in pleasantries. A matchbox doesn’t care if I step on people’s toes. A matchbox produces a flame. I’m the one who has to use it.

I succeed on the fourth try. Looking too close at the flame, I start to see yellow spots everywhere. It scares me. What if my vision is somehow damaged? What if smoke gets into my lungs? But the matchbox doesn’t care. Didn’t I need it? Why am I complaining now? The matchbox hates me. If you need fire, you shouldn’t be upset when things start to burn.

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