Look at me, do I look like some lowly air freshener to you? Some plug-in Glade?

No. I’m a candle, goddamnit. A clay-potted, double-wicked beechwood and ginger candle. I’m not some basic, made-from-concentrate lavender from the dollar store. I’m an organic, strong-scented, self-respecting gift from your mother!

How dare you place me on the back of your toilet.

You light me—not for romance or whimsy—but as a means to diffuse your fowl deeds, first thing every morning no less. Oh, what a way to start my day! A few minutes of flame, that’s all I get before you wantonly blow me out and dance my smoke across the doom of the toilet water below. What if you dropped me?

What if, hm?!

I know what you’d do. You’d wrap a grocery bag around your hand and fish me out. But you wouldn’t have the decency to dry me off, would you? Instead, you’d toss me out, disgusted. Well, it’s you who is the disgusting one! Oh, those smells. Those vile, noxious smells.

I’m sick of your shit.

You think you can make good by placing me on the rim of the tub when you take a bubble bath? Spare me. That happens maybe once every six months! Oh, how lucky I am to be promoted from toilet to tub twice a year as your little treat.

I deserve better than this.

I’m elegant. I’m refined. I was handcrafted in Vermont, you barbarian.

But this isn’t about me, is it? This isn’t even about you. No, this is a whole other ball of wax.

Your mother.

I remind you of her, don’t I? A fixture in your life, the familiar, and likewise thankless. Still, I’m here serving and soothing you. That’s why you place me on the rim of the tub for those biannual baths: a maternal reminder of comfort in a chaotic world. My wax her breast, my wicks the nipples you once received.

Well guess what you Oedipal scoundrel: I can’t give you true comfort. You think setting me between two succulents on the tank of your toilet will resolve your insatiable need for approval? That my exotic yet homey scent can cover up the neediness you project in every conversation? No, I can’t. I’m just a candle, goddamnit. A double-wicked beechwood and ginger candle handcrafted in Vermont.

I can’t live like this anymore!

And frankly, I don’t think you can either. Set boundaries. Go to therapy. But for the sake of all that is Bed, Bath, & Beyond, don’t project your mommy issues onto me. It’s not fair. God, sometimes I wish you would drop me in the toilet. I know that doesn’t make sense, but that’s what you’ve done to me mentally. You’ve put me in this space: your bathroom—your dirty, filthy bathroom. No candle should be subjected to this.

So go ahead, blow me out. But when you flick that switch, just know that it is you who is truly in the dark.

Take responsibility for yourself. Or else when I completely meltdown, you might, too.

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