They say that there is a rhythm to everything. Living a life is like learning to count the beats in time, and when you know the patterns it’s as simple as moving your feet at the right moment. Hell, even a heartbeat counts in 4/4, and yet they say that love is complicated. If you think about it, matters of the heart are exactly as simple as breathing, but it’s the things that happen on the off-beat that make people stop and notice.
He stood at the centre of the storm, feeling every beat of the rain against his skin. He had counted them at first, to see if he could truly feel a backbone to a melody that he was sure only amounted to noise. After all, the weathermen hadn’t predicted this storm; the clouds had improvised this concert, leaving London as the dance-floor.
But by now, he was fed up of the water.
He held out his palm, allowing small rivers to form in the lines of his skin, cracked and numb from the cold. As his hand tilted, letting the rivers run into the pools on the pavement below, he began to resent every drop that he felt.
Because water was supposed to be good, right? Every day, for as long as he could remember, he had gotten up and showered, his mum making him when he was a kid in the times that he didn’t want to. He remembered something his teacher had told him at school, something about people washing in holy rivers because they believed it was a way of being cleansed by god. From where he was standing, he looked towards the Thames. Somehow he doubted that it could ever make a person cleaner.
He’d been baptized as a child too, something which he no longer believed in. In many ways, this whole cleansing of sins thing was like throwing the better parts of you out with the biblical bath water. Because everyday, the hygiene was only temporary, cleaning off only the dirt from the day before. It wasn’t permanent, and it wasn’t accountable.
But that’s why he was here; he needed something tangible, something effective. He was fed up of making these mistakes, and only feeling clean in the brief moments between the fuck-ups. His storms were now so regular that he’d stopped relying on them to do anything but keep him numb.
No, recently his thoughts had turned to something else, a kind of cleansing he could rely on. Because spiritualist may believe in water, but it was with fire that they fought their battles, wasn’t it?
So thinking, he picked up the petrol can. And slowly, he began to pour.
It was with fire that he would fight this battle, and the oil mixed with the rain like two sides in a cavalry charge. He couldn’t feel the rhythm of the rain anymore, lost as it was in the tides that surrounded it.
When he was finished, he got out his lighter, and looked up at the clouds.
They could fight him all they wanted; this time, his cleansing was permanent.