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A Moveable Feast By Fire

December 31st, 2009 - written by Brian Utley

Tonight is a rare night because my kids have gone with my wife to their grandparents and I have a few hours to myself. I have my book which I’ve begun to treat like a dirty little secret, keeping it hidden from view while waiting longingly for the rare private moment when I can indulge. And this is exactly what I’ve done. I’m reading Hemingway as you may have noticed, he being the only author whose words I form with my lips and silently sound out as I read them. Each word treated like something coveted, dropped one at a time, luring me into a place bereft of the mundane.

It is now past sunset and when I go to the backyard to retrieve the fire grate my breath is heavy and visible. The grapevines are covered in frost, the air void of chirping birds, and so tonight is the night I start a fire, the first fire since the previous winter. I turn off the heat in the house and dim the lights in the front room where the flickering fire is already burning hot. I open up to Paris in the 20s, where it’s raining and a young Ernest Hemingway is eating his oranges, writing his stories, drinking his wine, and having tea with Gertrude Stein. And this is where I’ll be for the next few hours, as cars outside drive past unnoticed, silenced phones will ring futilely, and my own conjured yet uneventful life patiently waits for my return.

A Moveable Feast By Fire

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