I’ve done quite a few things in my life that I’m not proud of. I’ve done even MORE things in my life that makes me wonder how the hell I ever made it past the age of 15?
Case in point.
I love fire. Anyone that knows me, knows that I love watching things burn. “Some men just want to watch the world burn” – Alfred Pennyworth. I’m one of those men. Maybe “the world” is a drastic exaggeration, but I am a pyromaniac, but a good one if there is such a thing. I guess you can call me a pleasant pyromaniac. I’m not the “raving, set everything and everyone on fire and watch them burn and scream in agony” type of pyromaniac, just the “wow that is a pretty lovely blaze and it feels so warm and comforting” type of pyromaniac. There’s more of an artistic appreciation in my love of the hot stuff. The elegant dancing of flames as they consume and devour everything in their path while giving off such radiant warmth has always been a pleasurable experience (I mean…as long as no one was in danger or anything am I right? That guy knows what I’m talking about). Some years ago, I watched as my neighbor’s house across the way burn to the ground (with them not in it of course) and remembered thinking, “THIS. IS. AWESOME“! HEY!….No judging.
Anyway, I digress. I wanted to tell you guys a story. None sure when it started, but my first experience with setting things ablaze started when I was around 8 years old. Hurricane Hugo had recently blown through my island and left it completely devastated. People lost their homes and everyone was without power. By some good fortune however, and possibly excellent structural engineering, my house was one of the few left unaffected by the storm. A few months after the hurricane, after things had settled a bit and school was back in session, a friend of mine came over and we were doing homework in my bedroom. To this day I don’t know where she got the cigarette light from, but out of no where she had one in her hand and with a broad smile on her face said, “Look at what I have?!”
It all went downhill from there. Quickly grabbing the lighter from her, my first instinct was to burn something, but seeing as the smell of smoke would be the fast track to an ass-whoopin, I was force to find an alternate way to place the lighter to good use. Fancying my self a brave explorer, I decided to adventure under my bed to see what I could find using the lighter as my torch. So with “torch” in hand myself and my brave companion braved the underneath of my bed cave in search of whatever treasures it might hold. However, that got boring quickly, well at least to her anyway. After a few minutes she gave up and went back to homework, prompting me to do the same, and in hindsight I should have listened, but I was still having fun. Braving one last trek under the bed I decided to get back to homework.
Not sure if you guys are familiar with what bed were made of back in 1989, but they were primarily composed of a box spring on the bottom and a mattress to rest on top of it. Back on the day these “box springs” had a papery cloth-like material lining the bottom to hide the wood frame that the box was made of. What I know now, but didn’t have a clue about back then, was that is HIGHLY flammable.
At this point in time I’d returned to my homework completely oblivious to the small fire I’d started under my bed. My friend Jennie however, wasn’t.
“The bed is on fire.”
She’d said it so softly at first I thought she was kidding, but the second time she said it there was a sense that something was terribly wrong. While I couldn’t see the fire yet, there was a small plume of smoke coming from underneath the bed. On further examination, what clearly happened while I was pretending to be Indiana Jones, was that I inadvertently set the material under the box-spring on fire and it was spreading rapidly.
Now, if you remember correctly, I’M 8! And the first thing an 8-year-old does is panic, while simultaneously trying to figure out a way to put the fire out WITHOUT involving an adult and any guaranteed repercussions that would come with that decision. So in my panic and small little idiot 8 year old brain, I put together a plan of action.
Need water to put out the fire. <— Good Idea!
Will cup the water in my hand and carry it from the bathroom to my room and throw it up under the bed. <—You stupid fucking idiot!
So after 3 or 4 trips back and forth with no progress to show for it, my friend decided to get a grown up involved, which was clearly the first things that should have been done.
Needless to say, severe ass-whoopin’s were promptly handed out once the fire was put out and I was out of a bed. Her for having the lighter, and me for almost burning the house down.
Man, I did some dumb shit as a kid.