Valentine's Day Post

14 Feb 2008
heartfire.jpg

It's now been just over 20 years since I met my wife. T'was a snowy winter night in early 1988, as I recall. Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Extremely late -- maybe 2:00 in the morning. Sometime around 1990, I wrote a poem to tell the tale. Here it is:

"Waxing"

The most difficult thing to capture is
A flame's burning out. The wind suddenly
Blowing it out: this is too poetic, too dramatic.

Licking thumb and forefinger and manually
Extinguishing it is too showy--like stating
Control over fire, or claiming to be superhuman.

Letting it burn to its base is too hopeful--
There is only wondering
About when, indeed, it will die.

Burning it at both ends is interesting.
I'll give it a triplet;
(Edna St. Vincent Millay gave it a quatrain).

The best way is the accidental,
Like the way I once met a girl
(It's a true story): I'm best at accidents,

At throwing a snowball into her window,
Knocking-over a candle into her hair,
Transferring all of its flame to her head.

So there you have it. That's how I met my wife. I playfully threw a snowball at a stranger I saw in a 2nd story window. (As I recall, she more or less dared me to throw one at her, not believing my aim would be very good.) She jumped inside to avoid it and, thanks to a fatefully placed candle inside, I set her head on fire. I went upstairs to apologize, and the rest is history.

Original Comments

Below, are the original comments on this post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.

On February 14, 2008, Beth wrote:

How romantic!

On February 14, 2008, Anonymous wrote:

Jeez, Patrick – do you ever stop and marvel at the sheer number of event in your life that have been, essentially, defined by fire?

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

~Sis

On February 14, 2008, Chris wrote:

She burns for you ... .just like that Sting song, how romantic!

(Or how womantic as Lilly Von Schtupp would say)

On February 14, 2008, Dragon Laugh wrote:

What an awesome story!

On February 14, 2008, Anonymous wrote:

That fire was easy to put out, but the fire you started in my heart can never be extinguished.

I love you, my dear, sweet, brilliant Patrick.
XOXOXO

On February 14, 2008, Leonesse wrote:

Snow and Flames. What a way to meet.

On February 15, 2008, GETkristiLOVE wrote:

You really do blow shit up with gas. Cool.

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