Smoke or Fire

I have a zippo lighter and I recently refilled it with lighter fluid and placed it in my front pocket with my wallet. I’d added too much fuel, usually I light it and burn off the extra fuel, slowly the extra fuel saturated the inside of my pants and my wallet pressed the lighter and saturated pocket up against my leg. Over the next hour or two the lighter fluid gave me a first degree chemical burn that has lasted a few days.

While I was married my wife didn’t like me building fires in the in the fire place. The fires were too smoky and she preferred the heat from our central heating system. She would sit over the the heater vent with a blanket and thats how we spent our winters.

Once I found myself single I began building fires, I learned that many spiders had called my chimney home and when a fire was built soot collected on their webs creating many baffles in the chimney which made the smoke collect in the house.

A family of raccoons built a home in the heating ductwork under the house and I thought the heater had broken so I built more fires, and stopped using the heater. I enjoy the fires and the raccoons moved out once they had their babies and my dog slaughtered them as they began to explore the farm.

I began building fires every night and some mornings. I got good at collecting or buying all the right ingredients for a quick fire, a hot fire. I started having fires at my events and I love what they do for a crowd. People flock to the fire and if it isn’t hot it will be smokey. If you are going to start a fire in front of a bunch of people it has to work, be clean burning, provide light and warmth. Don’t bring gasoline it could actually harm your guests, burn too hot and fast or injure people you love.

People love exploring fire and will toss all kinds of things into it, plastic plates, paper napkins, food. They throw trash into the fire in the hopes it consumes it. Light dances with every addition and we all warm ourselves in its glow. When the party is over I’m the only one left, I sit by the fire. I’m responsible for cleaning up and putting the fires out before I retire. Quenching the fire with water can create enough steam that I get burned by the water vapor. It is odd to me that I think of these things.

In my romantic relationships I’m building a fire and I want to see if we can build one together. I want to see what you bring to burn with me and if we can create a fire that not just warms ourselves but provides light — illumination and warmth for our community — those that decide its a nice fire to sit with, warming themselves and watching the light dance.

Bringing bullshit to burn, to be consumed by the fire isn’t what I’m after, certainly bullshit burns and you can cook with it, but you are cooking with shit and that isn’t gonna be a fire anyone but the desperate use to cook and warm themselves with. Burning shit won’t make much light dance either. You can drop small pieces of shit into a fire and they will be consumed without smoke, but it has to be a really hot fire.

I’m gonna build a fire, decide what fuel you want to bring. I know what fires I like, what warms my soul, what kind of fire fights back the black of night.

Categories: Future

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