Friday, November 07, 2014


Or: Being Calm Like A Bomb.

Ignite — but the explosion must be channeled for the greatest impact. None of this indiscriminate collateral damage; that's amateur-hour shit. Pros know how to shape the charge and control its fury as best you can. Because let's face truth — once the fuse is lit there's only so much you can do, mostly just hang on and ride the adrenaline and hope to god some gasket doesn't blow.

During the newscast this week there was a live shot that went belly-up. The engineers couldn't bring it back to life. I pulled the plug and edited the scripts so the anchors wouldn't be tossing to a reporter who was lost in the ether. It all happened in the span of a minute — the sudden spark, the furious flowering of flames — and I had to control the blast in real-time.

What happened? Iced with ease. I've been messing with fire a long time; it would take a Hiroshima to rattle me, and even as the explosion turned me into ash I would still be trying to harness it to my liking.

There is no running away once the fuse starts to sizzle. Strap in and strap on, and for god's sake, tell those civilians to move back! They're not safe here — the concussion from the explosion alone will leave them deaf and under the right conditions can turn their organs to jelly. This is badass country and you must be This Tall to ride this especially dangerous ride.

The same holds even more truth when the bomb is built for personal use. When passion is the fuel there is even more chance of a cataclysm — this is delicate stuff and only the surest hands should be allowed to handle it. One wrong move and your brains will fly against the bedroom walls, with no time for regrets or even one last "whafuck?"

But man, talk about a rush. It's amphetamine-grade excitement, the mind going 1,600 mph in seven distinct directions at once. Here the trick isn't about shaping the blast — this bomb is meant to flatten everything in sight. It's awesome and marvelous and oh so lovely.

I walk into that room packed with explosives and tell myself: no tremors. No blinking. Stay alert at all times. Open your eyes, boy, and see.

I pick up the bomb with still and confident hands, caress its smooth skin. Beautiful. It's beautiful. If I stare too long my hands might start to shake, but I can't look away because I am mesmerized.

The lights flicker. It almost looks like ... candlelight? Impossible. Everyone knows you can't have an open flame in here, that's just asking for —

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