I bought a pack of antique matches at an antique market. I assume that people collect these for their packages, but I bought it simply out of my distaste for plastic lighters, which is almost as much as my distaste for neatly factory produced objects. They are blatantly single-serving. Nothing I use is single-serving. Yogurt cups double-serve as tabletop trashcans. Beer labels double-serve as my Bird by Bird bookmark. Plastic grapes containers double-serve as plastic general fruits containers. Even the origin of this phrase single-serving, Fight Club, I watched at least six times. In a sense I sextuple-served it.
Anyways, the antique matchbook. The matches are rather flimsy. I never know whether this one would light up successfully, or would its head break off as I strike it across the striker gently, then forcefully, finally brutally. There’s so much uncertainty in such a simple action. I really am looking for my lucky strike.
However, the action that follows is extremely certain. I use the match to light my incense, which unfailingly gives off the same smell into the air, same peacefulness, same enchantment, same intuitive ambient. These two consecutive actions, so intimately bound together in time and space, yet such polar opposites within and towards themselves. I am amazed by how snuggly they coexist, which gives me some solace, when I open up the lid of my skull, peer inside, and find the hundred pairs of contradictory voices innocently staring up at me all at once.