Mind on Fire

Building up and burning down

Andy Spears
5 min readSep 18


Photo by Marc Renken on Unsplash

Alex sat at a large desk carved of cherry wood. On a coaster to the right of him sat a beautiful glass. He’d just gotten up to place three cubes of ice inside it. Then, he poured his favorite mixing bourbon into the glass, topped that off with Coke, and then added a splash of bourbon for good measure.

He sent her a text — a picture of the view of the city from his office. Alex had been attempting to entice Emily to visit him there for about a month now. Actually, she first mentioned the idea. He had a new position which came with a beautiful office. He would run his “empire” from there. A certain group of people who wanted things done eventually found their way to him.

His power and position had been a picture she painted for him. Yes, two years before, she’d told him what could be — what she saw inside of him. It was actually just a few days after she’d mapped it all out, made him see, that she left him. You see, she knew. She knew what he could be, that he could have what he wanted. But, she also knew that if things stayed the way they were, he wouldn’t. He would simply focus on her and on ways to make her happy. He didn’t believe that what she wanted most was for him to be his best.

He didn’t believe that because no one had really been that for him — his cheerleader, his supporter, his believer. She knew that a man who was at his best would be best for her. It saddened her that he wasn’t there yet — and it saddened her to leave him. But, she knew it was the only way forward.

About a year after painting the vision and then leaving him, she got back in touch. Turns out, he was building the dream. He had decided that if he ever met her again, he would tell her that he was doing it — and, well, he’d discovered a part of himself that he really, really liked. A part he’d forgotten about.

Photo by Joost Crop on Unsplash

Now, he was pouring straight bourbon into the glass. Now, he was sitting in the beautiful office and thinking of luring her there. Now, he was thinking that if she saw him in this place, saw him at his best, saw his full power, she’d offer herself to him. Just as she had a few…



Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .