"Trust me. This will work."
"Trust you? Trust you? Last time I trusted you I ended up high on acid fighting a towel because I thought it was a monster. And then I almost gnawed my own hand off."
"I know. That was awesome. Dude, you were flying high then. Why do you want to stop flying? Don’t you miss that feeling?"
"I do miss that feeling, but this seems a little rash."
"How could you live being so lame? Seriously, how do you wake up and look at yourself in the mirror and still go on? I couldn’t do it."
"Just because I don’t live in squalor like you, Dan, doesn’t mean that I’m lame."
"Who we kidding, Ed? You’re lame. Totally. You’ve still yet to experience anything remotely dangerous. Or exciting. Oooh software programmer. Look at me wearing sweaters without shirts to work. I am so dangerous. Look at me using a Mac even though I work for Microsoft. I am totally a bad ass. La dida"
"What the fuck you doing?"
"Oh, that’s just my Ed is a lame piece of poop dance. You like it?"
"Make fun of me all you want but you wouldn’t be able to live your decrepit and deranged lifestyle if it wasn’t for my sweet Microsoft paycheck, and even if you are right this is completely ridiculous."
"That’s the point. No thinking; just doing. You always say you think too much. That you wish once you could just stop thinking and if you would stop thinking so much you would be happier. In fact you bitch about it all the time. ‘Dan, I wish my life was more exciting.’ ‘Dan, I’m always bored.’ ‘Dan I think too much.’ ‘Dan why the hell are you eating from my garbage?’ Well here is your chance. No thinking. No worrying about the consequences. Just doing it."
"I don’t think this is exactly what I meant."
"Oh god for once in your 26 years of life just stop with the stupid and constant inner monologue that you indulge constantly. Yeah, you don’t think I notice, but you always have inner conversations with yourself. That stupid face you make trying to trick us into thinking that you’re paying attention to what we are saying when you are just listening to yourself think: 'Should I live more like Dan, oh, wait, but he doesn’t have purpose, yeah but he is happy, but what is happiness anyway, is it fun or contentment, am I even content?' and all your friends are just sitting there waiting for you to come back down off your judging box and start chilling with us."
"Judging box? Seriously, judging box, not like seat or anything?"
"See there you go again, why don’t you just let me say whatever the hell I want. Who the fuck cares if I say judging box instead of chair or seat?"
"Ok, I see your point there, but are you sure this is the right way to go about it? You don’t think it might be better if we had some sort of weaning program, you know like if I start small, maybe light some doody on fire and put it on some person’s porch, or I egg something, some creative use of toilet paper or graffiti, and build up to something like this?"
"You’re doing it again. Am I sure about this, of course not, but if I did things I was only sure of I wouldn’t really do anything besides like sit home get high and watch anime, which by the way, you should totally try that sometimes, but no I am not sure, but that’s the point."
"But this is illegal and dangerous, seriously you don’t think you can find anything better than me burning down some old and abandoned farmhouse? Seriously, have you thought about the consequences of this at all, destruction of property, wildfires?"
"Wildfires, are you serious? who the hell do you think you are, Smokey the Fox?"
"The fox, oh come on man, you knew it was a bear, and seriously though, this shit is majorly illegal, and obviously dangerous."
"You know what else was illegal and dangerous, huh Ed? Know what else?"
"No Dan, I don’t know what else is illegal and dangerous – prostitution, cocaine, hanging out with you?"
"No Ed, freeing the fucking slaves, Lincoln freeing those slaves was not only illegal but it was dangerous, man. But it was worth it."
"Do you even listen to yourself when you are talking or you don’t have the attention span to even pay attention to that, because that makes no sense. Like that is up there for some of the most inane things I have ever heard you say."
"Of course it does, now will you please burn this damn farmhouse down? I am getting completely bored."
"You sure no one lives in it. No like homeless people squatting or something like that. Or maybe like some couple on a tryst?"
"What the fuck is wrong with you. ‘Tryst?’ Who even talks like that? No, there are no couples in there on a tryst, and no one is in there. Stop being a wuss and just burn this place. Now, I took care of most the leg work. I covered the place with alcohol and gasoline so all you have to do is light this torch and throw it into the house and then—boom—explosion. It will literally blow you away and surgically remove the wussy from your body. It’s now or never bro."
"Ok, ok, breathe... shit, I cant do this."
"Yes, you can. Here is the torch and here is the lighter. There’s no one for miles, believe me. I done shit like this before. Nothing happens. Just some explosion, some burning, and us drinking beers while a house goes down in flames. Keep it simple."
"This is simple? Ok, fuck you, ok, ok, I can do this. Give me that damn lighter and the torch."
"Hell yes. Here we go. Now when you throw the torch you want to get away as fast as possible because gasoline is highly flammable."
"Oh, gasoline is highly flammable is it now? Wow, thanks for the heads up.”
“Ok, jeez, chill, I was trying to be helpful."
"Shit, I am doing this. I am really doing this. This is it. Torch, check. Lighter, check. Hands shaking, check. Weird erection, still check, I’m set. AAHHHHHHHHHH."
"Holy shit. Did you see than, Dan, did you see that."
"Of course I saw that. That was a good start."
"Start, are you fucking crazy? That was ultimate. I just torched a building. Look at it. Look at it burning and crumbling. It's oddly gorgeous, the beauty of destruction."
And as I saw it burning I couldn’t help but think of the facile symbol being displayed before my eyes. A house burning. A house that looks eerily similar to my childhood home. My childhood home burning. I am recreating myself. I am burning the crap that is left from my childhood. Exploding it and leaving it behind, and like some animal that is born out of the fire, like the mythological phoenix, I am born anew. And in my metamorphosis I shed my fear and embrace a life of danger and uncertainty. The house is on fire and there is no owner to put it out, because I started the fire. Fuck you Billy Joel. I hate your music and always have. I am the owner of my life. I am liberated. Look at the beauty of the destruction, look at the raw power that I am capable of unleashing…"Ed"…look at what I have wrought…"Ed!...Ed!...Dammit Eddie!"
Eddie! Wake the fuck up."
"You’re doing it again, dammit."
"I could tell you're doing your thing, you have that annoying look on your face. In your mind you are having some stupid conversation with yourself probably about some stupid abstract shit trying to instill the moment with purpose and meaning and value, and all those fancy words, and you are totally missing this moment. The house is burning right in front of you and you are off probably thinking what it symbolizes when you are missing the fact that it doesn’t symbolize shit and it is just a burning farmhouse that you are not experiencing."
"Oh, right, sorry. Thanks Dan."
"No problem. Just have a beer."
"So…you said you’ve done something like this before?"
"No fucking way, man. I would never do something like that. That’s like a fucking felony. You just blew up a building. You’re crazy."