I seldom do jogs; they machine life into my otherwise dull and grim shoes. In an innate vengeance for all the dogs they had to fend off or surrender to, they bite back, deep into my feet. I jog-walk with sore feet, down a path. I choose to forget where it leads to, every time; contemptuous. Familiar. With red houses all around, and red people walking their red dogs and the interesting douse of ashy perfume, this point always brings me the same memories, even if the houses were a greying white, the people shadowy dark, the dogs still shivery spiked from a recent monsoon, and the air, a morning’s morning breath.
It is at this point, that I stop and draw a canister from my pocket. I look around, the three pronged lanes stare back at me in a been-there-done-that. To the last drop, I drain the contents of the can, sliding it down the lanes, one by one. The silent morning seems to trickle down its neck onto the concrete. When back at the junction, I pause and crouch and draw a box of matches, always stained in jog-sweat. I count today’s quota of ammunition, and place them in careful parallels on the road. The first crack of friction breaks a match that I flick. The second dies in vain bravery, sparking twice before snapping. The third illuminates my face in an interesting warmth, as I draw it down to the junction and drop.
It fascinates me, how fire spreads. In magical straight lines, it burns the peace signed kerosene. And suddenly, the world is red again. My memories flood back, as a hundred staring eyes reflect the crispy licks of yellow and red flames. Someone screams. A lonesome cur whines and runs by with its tail into its behind. A drunk wakes in the sudden heat, smiles at his invisible wife who just brought him a blanket and falls back into dreams. A burning wheel runs by, unmindful of the crossroad traffic. The flame dies in a minute, sapping the last drops of fuel into smoke.
And as illuminating my efforts to burn peace were, I realise they were worthless. For everything is morning again. And the smell of sleep nudges the smokes away. I jog-walk back home. Somebody who is everyone should try it.