Monday, 2 December 2013


‘Fire: its grace is not to remember,’ he said, under the dim light of the single electric bulb. I felt glacial; sarcastic: come on baby, ice my blizzard, I thought. I was praying for her. Sometimes she seemed unfurled before me – and at other times closed off, fox-like in her cunning not to be ensnared. When we begin to make the move, the connection, fiery passions can be so easily dowsed.
‘Imagine what fire has done for us,’ I said to him, eager to pin him back. ‘It destroyed one third of London in the seventeenth century: we’ve gone from rubbing two sticks together to the ends of the Earth. It’s creator but destroyer – and there’s a bad smell in the atmosphere; the smoke lingering around our fingers.’
He said he could see a time of order ahead: the sea ice would stabilise – we can be free to emerge and progress with impunity. ‘We can turn the heat up.’ His rhetoric filled me with indifference. Today fire in my glass means a fall from grace. He says: ‘Keep free, remember anguish, and raise a glass to those who fell.’ I thought, just give me my marshmallows, guy.

The copyright of this post belongs to Ben Hargreaves

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