Cover Photo: Soak by Morgan Schetzle

Soak

It’s more important to hold it than consume it.

It’s more important to hold it than consume it. The fire in my belly isn’t asking to be fed, but the chill of my exterior needs to be reminded of warmth. Even though it’s nearly 80 degrees out and the heat from the cup is just shy of burning my palms, they eagerly soak in the heat anyway. I focus on that heat pouring in. My palms drinking, wrists swallowing. It flows up my forearms, pools briefly in my elbows which I tuck into my sides, pulling the cup closer. A tiny thrill shivers through my back as the heat hits my shoulders, collecting between the shoulder blades before shooting up to explode into tingles at the base of my skull. The sensation like a firework under my skin, an explosion flaring out across my scalp. My eyes roll back involuntarily under the lids, a tiny smile creeps into the corners of my mouth. I shift my fingers over the mug and lift it to my lips. I rest the cup there, inhaling deeply and the new contact sends another surge of heat through me, triggering another wave of pleasure. I mentally follow it again: palms, lips; wrists, cheeks; forear — “CAREFUL! It’s Hot!”

I blink owlishly at him then scowl, “I wasn’t going to drink it.”

A skeptical look, “Then whatwereyou doing?”

At a loss I say only, “I like the smell.”

Morgan lives in Seattle as a compromise between the frozen north of his childhood in Alaska and a  love of technology that pulled him disastrously close to California that one time.

He paints, writes, pretends to garden, buys more books than he reads and tinkers on robots and  games while working full time in the game industry.