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Fire by Committee

Last Sunday evening, I had the occasion to celebrate Spring with some good friends. My brothers-in arms Scotty Boom and Bike Mike, as well as Mike's fiancé, Cathy, made this an intimate gathering. She needs a nickname (as do I, although I insist on approval rights).

Scotty and I headed over to his place after a delicious seafood lasagna he made from scratch at my bachelor pad. We picked up a couple bundles of firewood and started getting things ready. Fire requires a committee, and Scott and I appointed ourselves. Step 1: discuss the approach to starting a fire, teepee or log cabin? Log cabin. Step 2: chop kindling. Check. Step 3: build the log cabin, complete with an interior of paper grocery bags. Step 4: light the mofo. Scotty used my cigarette lighter to great effect, giving us a one-match fire. Scott, I think, was a Boy Scout.

After we two sat around the fire for a half hour or so, Bike Mike and Cathy arrived. Mike is a MacGyver, bringing with him a Bluetooth speaker, a multi-tool, stuff I never got to see, (probably duct tape) and snacks. Cathy was wearing an Oilers jersey. Mike prides himself on being ready for any eventuality.

Thus, the evening began. Mike stole my chair and talked shit about it. I rolled over to show my belly and asked for pats. These three individuals are close friends and good people. I respect them, their choices, and their beliefs. Our conversation ran the gamut, from The Battle of Alberta to God, to house fires and phobias, to a discussion on the nature of science and our connection to fire. About the only thing we did not talk about was Covid, and that was nice. The topics were wide, varied and served to remind me of why I chose these friends.

Part of being human is companionship, and I feel I have that with these people. We do not always see eye to eye, but we have mutual respect for each other, and that goes a long way. I feel seen, and I do my best to make them feel seen, too. Spending time with individuals you care about can be very refreshing to the soul, and doing it around a fire, as we have through the ages, was a real pleasure.

Joshua Wiebe

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