I Melt with You

We’ve had this little travel-sized, traditional-styled Chanukah menorah for
at least as long as I can remember.

photo of a small traditional Chanukah menorah with melted candle wax in different colors all over it

I’m fonder of it with every passing year, not just for the memories but for how its collection of “battle scars” — the bits of leftover wax, never completely scraped off the arms and base or entirely gouged out of the little cups that hold the candles — have accreted over the years to give it extra character.

The Jackson Pollack craziness that’s occurred over the past few nights is unusual, however. I’m guessing based on the permutations of candles and menorahs four nights in that either the smaller candles used are just outright cheap or they’ve undergone some kind of chemical process during too much time stored in a drawer.

photo of a small traditional Chanukah menorah with the shamash and first candle lit

On the first night, I used the small candles in the small menorah, and while the shamash — the middle candle, used to light the others (which by the last night will number eight) — was fine, the candle representing the first night looked like it forgot
to close its eyes at the climax of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

photo of a funky modern Chanukah menorah with shamash, first, and second candles lit

On the second night, we swapped in a funky menorah that we’ve also had forever and placed some taller, fancier candles in it. The picture above was taken right after they were lit, but no grotesque melting ensued as they burnt out.

On the third night, I placed the smaller candles in the funky menorah, and again they burned quickly while shedding wax tumors.

photo of a funky modern Chanukah menorah with shamash, first, second, and third candles lit

On the fourth night, I went back to the little traditional menorah and more distorted melting ensued. Some of the sloughed-off wax of candles next to one another began to intermingle, as you can see below, and in fact right after I took that picture the flames of the candles representing the second night and third night — counting from right to left, just as text is read in Hebrew — merged as well.

photo of a small traditional Chanukah menorah with shamash, first, second, third, and fourth candles lit

Next year I’m definitely going to get some new candles for the miniature menorah, hopefully in one of those little blue boxes that have been a part of Chanukah to me for as long as the menorahs themselves.

Photos © 2011 Brian Saner Lamken.

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