Apology of a Dragon Rider

Kircher-drachen
“I like to ride dragons. The breeze in my face. The warm scales below my butt. What can I say? It’s an experience everyone should live at least once.

“Some people might say it’s wrong, but they’ve clearly never been on a winged-beast going 350 kilometers per hour. Or seen a monster breathe fire onto a truck until it burst into flames. Or devour the charred remains of — well, sometimes it’s hard to tell what it was.

“Don’t tell me that dragons belong in the wild. What does that even mean? Is there such a thing as a flying reptile’s natural habit? Or better yet, is there anywhere that isn’t? Who am I to say? Mankind always wants to interfere in nature’s business and for what?

“The truth is the opposite. It’s humanity that belongs in the wild. We could stand to lose the smattering of societal pretensions that hold us down. Our true self can’t be found sitting at a desk or a table or walking a dog or driving past countless indiscernible street-tied banalities.

“But serpentine flight can take us there.

“Haven’t you ever felt that your life could be so much more?

“Lock me up if you must to justify the fear burrowing into your guts, but don’t call it abuse, don’t say I didn’t love and do everything I could for the creatures. Don’t call me a criminal! I let them fly where they wanted, eat what they wanted, kill, mame or burn down the world itself if it pleased them. They were taken care of.

“The feeling was mutual.

“I discovered who I am and what I’m truly capable of? Have you?”

He was led away slowly to await the jury’s decision — they found him guilty of course! Did you expect a different outcome? That poor child was dead after all.

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.