One evening when we sat by the distances, she told me of her wish to burn her body to see her souls catch fire, too. She said she loved the perfume of burnt-out souls. I realized that it was going to be difficult but decided to give her this gift on her nearest birthday, anyways. I asked her which of her souls she would like to burn.
"The wet one", she replied.
It had snowed last night. It had started when we were playing with each other's bodies. Fondling. Jostling. Mingling. In our silent apartment. I was drenched in her presence. I always was. Despite her perfumed hair, her ethereal nudity, the sentiments of her fragrant touch; her body was only an effigy. A mirage. Because she were innumerable women at the same time. In our silent apartment, her converging souls passed in and out of her body all the time. And in every parting moment, she fragmented herself more into the nooks and corners of my room. With every passing instance, my partner in the bed would change. I made love to all of them. It felt like a game of betrayal in which you'd stopped counting. And you had no idea any longer who it was that you were betraying. You betrayed each for all. And none for the other. Living inside a deadly turn-on.
I didn't notice the beginning of the snow until she pushed my body aside and ran outside. Into the snow. Trailing one of her souls with her. I put on some clothes and followed her outside. Snowflakes landed on her naked skin. I found slowly, that her color was changing. She was becoming a deep, deep blue. I asked her to come inside but she refused. I was worried both for her and the soul that she had brought for herself. Gradually, I found that her body had begun to glow so that the space around her seemed to be lighted up in a divine light. The light kept spreading until it went in through the windows of the people who slept. All of them woke up to find their eyes being washed in a light so deeply blue as can only be found in dreams. Thinking of the light as a divine purgation all of them started to pray.
She stood unmoving, in the snow until she fell senseless on the accumulated snow. I went near her and asked if she would like to come inside. But she wouldn't answer. So, I carried her in my arms and took her inside. I put a blanket around her. But before that, I took off her wet soul and put it next to the fire to dry.
It remained wet.
As days passed, we made plans for the burning. Even when we made love we spoke about her burning body and soul. It would turn us on. We started collecting matchsticks of different sizes and shapes. Ignite each of them to examine its flame. Our days passed like dreams.
At last her birthday came. She was apprehensive from the morning about the evening 'cause that's when, we had decided, we would set her on fire. She seemed excited from the morning. I had never seen her so exuberated ever before. By the time evening came, she had tired herself out of excitation. She quickly put on her wet soul. I, on the other hand, lighted a matchstick and set her on fire.
As flames started playing all over her body she started dancing in jubilation. First she set a few of my important papers on fire, then my beautiful Arabian carpet and slowly, my entire apartment was on fire. But we little cared for any of it because nothing was important beyond this moment.
"Come take me in your arms", she said at last, stopping "and see if I've started exuding the fragrance of burnt-out souls."
I went and took her in my arms, but couldn't find the fragrance of her burnt-out souls. I told her this. She seemed surprised. It was not some thing that we had planned for. I looked more closely at her. The flames coming out of her body seemed calm and composed. They were blue….. exactly the color of her snow drenched self.
Snows were nothing but frozen blocks of fires.
I realized that the fragrance that she was looking for would only be possible if she would burn in the snow, like the last time round. I realized, also, that I was on fire. Perhaps, I had caught it when I went and took her in my arms. When we stared outside, we found that the snowfall had started.
I took her hand and ran outside.