Just me and the Fire

People always loved those dialogues, and those gifts were important to me too, because people don’t stay in my life very long — bonfire friends come and go, or I change places where I build fires; fishing crews change, and I rarely stay with the same boat for more than a few trips. I guess I make it difficult more than anyone. I don’t own a phone, except a land line at my apartment, where I almost never am. And I don’t check my mail or use email.

Sitting here and writing about this crazy beach-park and demo-fill-dump, and my rather unsuccessful attempt to hang out with Claire again, I’m sitting with what I considered the most consistent, and really best, company I can count on — a bonfire.

I’m looking up from my notebook every so often to watch the fire change in colour and opacity as the sun sets behind it. I’m up on the flat at the base of the lighthouse hill. Kate and Sam are still down with the canoes — they took down the sail (the air and waves are perfectly still) and they’re gutting the pike — and Claire’s up at the lighthouse, so it’s just me and the fire.

Those gifts, if it weren’t for them, all those people would just be transients in my life, and I’d be a transient in theirs. But I’m sure a lot of people still have those dialogues — some even said they’d frame them. I like that. It’s a connection. And the writing that I never give to anyone is still a gift, a gift to my best friend. I’ve thrown every notebook I’ve filled into a bonfire. But maybe not this one. We’ll see.

"Nuit Blanche Toronto" by JasonParis, edited by A. Malcolm