A Buddhist Bonfire. That’s how she described it, Madame Nhu. Buddhists were forbidden from celebrating Buddha’s birthday, leading to one dousing themself in petrol and catching fire. Not for the first time I wondered what it would be like to set your body on fire. Set it alight and smell it ignite. It seems fascinating to me that people would do this, would patiently sit in the flickering flame while they suffocated on the burning fumes of their own skin. The thought makes me sick. I should be having the time of my life. College has ended, along with the monotony of routine, and with it promised so-called freedom and endless outings with friends. All these idyllic possibilities just never materialised. Instead I find myself staring at these four walls. The birds etched on my wallpaper feel like they are beginning to haunt me. I have often found that when I am most liberated is often when I feel the most retrained.


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