burning at both ends

08 Mar

Tonight Taylor is staying up late trying to finish some work for school, and I am keeping him company.  We found that movie Phenomenon On Demand and it’s been playing somewhat in the background as we move closer to midnight.

For the last month or so Taylor and I have been burning candles at night.  We started with a candle that Tess gave us as a house warming gift, and discovered that it made everything smell beautifully like citrus.  After it had been burned down to its waxy end, we found a couple of cheap candles at Target and a simple candle holder and put them to work.  We light them in the evenings after I get home from work.  They don’t smell as nice as Tess’s candle did.  Still, though, they warm up the room.  They make everything a little glowier, and reflect off the cobwebs and the dust on our coffee table, and the places on the couch where a cat used to sharpen his claws.  It softens our apartment, and makes it seem a little happier and calmer in the evening.

So tonight, at just about the part of Phenomenon where Jon Travolta does the whole thing with the mirror in the bar, Taylor growled and pushed his computer away and leaned against my arm.  We watched Jon Travolta have his freakout, and then I glanced at the candles to see how close they were to burning down all the way.  The side of one of the candles had ruptured when we weren’t looking, spilling warm oozy wax all over our candle holder, drowning the burned out matches.  Every few seconds another pulse of wax would leak through that crack, piling on another layer.  The whole thing was becoming very topographic, very quickly.  It was nice to watch it building up, kind of like art.

“Having fun watching that candle?” Taylor asked.


I reached forward to dimple the soft wax with my fingers.  Taylor took the end of a match and tried to widen the crack.

“No!” I squealed.  “Leave it alone.  Just let it do its thing.”

“I wanna mess with it though,” Taylor said, reaching forward to poke it again.  I made an irritable noise, and he went back to working on his assignment, and I went back to happily watching the candle burn down.

That candle is pretty much like my brain lately.  Slowly plugging away on a single task, until suddenly, without warning, something pops and grey matter starts leaking out my ears.  The whole process is very interesting to any onlookers, I’m sure.

Posting may be somewhat irregular until I find some way to snuff my mental processes for awhile, or at least plug my ears up and stop the constant leakage.


Posted by on March 8, 2010 in Life


5 responses to “burning at both ends

  1. Vanessa

    March 10, 2010 at 6:48 am

    I’ve never made a habit of lighting candles, but I’d like to. Though I think I’d be plagued by a constant fear of burning the house down.

  2. supesukauboi

    March 11, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Careful with poking those candles. My mom was cleaning one of her candles, when the wax suddenly exploded up into her face and all over the counter (and my iPod touch).

    • James

      March 11, 2010 at 12:05 pm

      Yeah, that’s me, sorry.

  3. lotusbubble

    April 7, 2010 at 10:43 am

    check out Schlieren pictures of candles…we’re doing Schlieren stuff for this lab class I’m taking right now, and holy shit, its so cool.


    • Jessica

      April 7, 2010 at 3:38 pm

      WHOA that is super cool! Now I just want to burn candles again.


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