Last night I dreamed of fire.
The Wallow fire continues to haunt my every waking moment, so why not while I sleep as well? I dreamed the fire turned liquid, turned to molten fire, and it was here where I live. It flowed under the house and it erupted in different areas, through the floor, in the ceiling. It hissed and popped, glowering and spitting, and outside I could hear the roar of the main fire drawing closer.
I grabbed things as I ran through the house, having to flee. I gathered my violin, an old photo album, a favorite pair of jeans, my Under Armour shirts, and favorite shirts that I’d purchased while on the road. My piano – I averted my eyes. I had to leave it, there just wasn’t any way to save it. I caressed it one last time, wondering if I could somehow pull the soundboard out and have the body rebuilt later.
I grabbed different bags, packed everything hastily onto the back of the blue motorbike. I should take the other one, I thought, it will be harder to replace. But in the end it was Pearl that I took, loaded down. The neighborhood was in ruins, streaked with orange and black, as I left it behind. I choked and coughed on the acrid smoke, ash was flying through the air like snow. I saw it all disappear in flames in my rearview mirror, a wall of fire that took everything.
I woke up, sweating, the wind kicking up outside, and I thought of it pushing the Wallow fire to consume even more acres of irreplaceable forest. Every time I think of it, it cuts like a knife. I will obsess on it until it is over, and I know it will be on my mind for a very long time.