I started a fire with my bare hands. I feel very primal and in touch with nature right now, and I think that I should go catch some game using a handmade booby trap Apocalypto style. Side note, that is an excellent, and very underrated movie. Trust me, I went to art school. Anyway, I feel that I deserve so many cookies for starting that damn fire, but the delicious margarita Fat Face and I shared post fire session sufficed.
I was able to complete my 2014 New Year’s Resolution with a little help from my friends. Yes, I was a few days late, as I didn’t do this until January 5th of 2015… but that’s my style and it still counts because I feel like there is a week grace period with matters such as these. A lot of people are not into making yearly resolutions, but I think that’s because they set their sights too high and it generally just ends in feeling like a failure at the conclusion of the year. I feel like a failure for the majority of the year, so I like making small, realistic resolutions for my New Year’s goal so that I can at least feel accomplished for one of the 365 days. I make resolutions such as floss more, learn to play a song on the piano, teach myself how to use photoshop, etc. Pretty simple. As I stated in Merch Girl Rant, my 2014 resolutions were to be nicer to strangers (which I truly believe I made progress in) and build a fire with my bare hands.
Here it was though, December of 2014 and I still had yet to build a fire. I mentioned this resolution to a couple of the guys who were on the crew bus with me and they were full supporters of helping me complete my goal. Monterey, who I spoke about in A Christmas Story, purchased a Swedish FireSteel igniter for me, and the LD of the crew gave me some helpful tips because he was a boy scout. Always trust a boy scout.
The three of us definitely would have made this happen, but the tour we were on together is a particularly grueling one with very little down time. The only two days that we had off it was raining, and before we knew it, the tour was wrapped. It ended December 31, and then I went on a mini hiatus before returning home on the 4th of January.
I felt slightly disappointed in myself for not completing my 2014 resolution, and I knew that this was not going to help with my post tour blues. “Post tour blues” is a term I think I’ve coined. I won’t go into a lengthy description of what it is because I think it’s pretty self-explanatory, and anyone who tours will know exactly what I mean. I’ll leave the discussion for another day. I get the post tour blues BAD and while we were only days away from wrapping the gig, I asked Monterey if he experiences PTB. He told me that he has, but he has taught himself how to avert it. He makes sure to set himself little goals of what he needs to get done while he’s home. Essentially a to-do list to keep yourself busy, but boys don’t make lists. I thought that was great advice, and like a total female… I wrote out a list. Number one, build a damn fire you piece of shit.
I will only be home for four days before heading out for the next tour, so I had already accepted that these days were going to be packed with real life shit. I know that’s not a particularly eloquent way of putting it, but it gets the point across. Real life shit is basically a bunch of errands that need to happen post tour, and is just stuff that you can’t get done on the road such as haircuts, teeth cleanings, taxes, make-out sessions, etc. I put aside all of that garbage and made the fire my number one priority.
Step one, text Fat Face:
Me: “You want to try to build a fire with me?”
Fat Face: “I’m confused, is that a metaphor for something else?”
Like I’ve said, I suck at texting, so in my mind I answered him with details and a funny pun, but apparently I did not in fact text him back at all. I got a call from him a few minutes later and I began to explain my predicament, but the long-winded explanation simply ended with, “I just need to build a fucking fire and you should do it with me.” And here is why I love Fat Face: “All right! Let’s build a fire! Fuck yeah!” He’s always down.
Step two was to get Fat Face awake and at my house at a reasonable hour. He generally sleeps until my day is half way over, but he surprised me with his 10:30am call. By 11:00am we were googling “how to build a fire” which he thought was cheating. Considering that it wasn’t his resolution, he was very concerned with what was considered cheating and what wasn’t, and he was all about attempting to do it straight up caveman style. Um, no. He was delusional and thought we were going to walk outside, rub some sticks together, add some wood and BOOM!
Step three was finding a place to do build this thing. I was concerned with finding a dry spot, a place semi secluded so that we wouldn’t be bothered by authorities and cultivating the appropriate materials. Fat Face was concerned with getting ice cream. He pretended to humor me for a moment while I thought out loud about the possible locations, then he said, “Cait, I feel like we can just build it on a sidewalk somewhere.” Oh God.
He went on to say that he thought this whole process would only take ten minutes. Once he said that, I knew I was on my own with packing a fire starting bag. I took my Mom’s GAP beach tote and put a knife, my gifted FireSteel and a shovel inside. Fat Face’s parents house sits at the edge of a wooded area, so we decided to go there. It was the best idea we have ever had. If there is ever a zombie apocalypse, just go to Fat Face’s parents house. I’ll give you the address, just remember to bring some champagne and Fat Face and I will supply the whiskey.
The backyard had EVERYTHING we needed. We needed to dig a shallow hole, then surround it with rocks, which we easily found. We also needed tinder, kindling, twigs and larger dry branches. Miraculously, we found all of this material within a 30 foot radius of where we decided to construct this fire. I will say, Fat Face was looking pretty damn sexy as he was sitting in the dirt, being one with nature and using my flint fire starter to create a spark, the first marking of true human progression. It was very primal and kind of made me want to either do him right there in the dirt or bite the head off of a squirrel and then roast it in the open fire while doing a sacrificial dance and chant. I settled for a high-five.
Monterey was there in spirit because he was kind of the fuel behind the fire (pun intended) and I was picturing him doing something on the other side of the country that is on his productivity list in that moment as well. He was probably doing something very adult, like making a business plan, or editing his reel… while I was crouched down, hoping that the city worker’s nearby might mistake Fat Face and I as children and not bother us. I mean, when is the last time you saw two almost 30 year old’s in a backyard playing with twigs and searching for rocks for no apparent reason. I was banking on them assuming that we were just kids playing in a field so that they wouldn’t come over to inform us that what we were doing was very illegal.
The secret weapon to igniting the fire was the “fluff.” This is a term that Fat Face and I used to describe the saw dust we created. At first we were trying to ignite very thin peels of wood, but it just wasn’t thin enough. I was willing to resort to venturing to the nearby drying machine and retrieving some lint, but Fat Face considered that cheating, so I googled “tips on igniting a fire using FireSteel.” He considered my googling cheating also, but fuck him. I read that saw dust was the answer, and the fluffier the better. So, we created saw dust with my knife (thank god I brought that thing) and I kept saying, “we need more fluff!” I began getting a solid rhythm with my fluff creation, to which Fat Face said, “Ooooo girl, yeah, make that fluff.” That made me laugh and I lost my rhythm so Fat Face had to finish creating the fluff. He was better at it anyway, as he made double what I did in about half of the time. After a solid half hour of trying to ignite the fluff, it finally caught.
From there, we just kept adding more fluff and then twigs and then branches and then we had a bona-fide fucking fire that we made with our bare hands. YAY!! We definitely had a moment. It felt extremely satisfying and a bunch of other adjectives I could throw at you, but most of all, if felt really good to share the moment with someone. I feel better about beginning this new year now that I started that damn fire with a little help from Monterey, the LD and Fat Face. 2014 was a fucking ride, and now I feel okay about getting on the next one.
This year’s resolution may sound far-fetched to some of you, but the more I travel the more obtainable it seems. I want to leave the continent. I’ve been to Europe before, but it was a long time ago now, and it’s just time to leave the continental US again. I’m pretty sure that I’ve been to every state multiple times now, and I’ve done cross-country Canada, so it’s time to cross an ocean. The more people you meet, it’s funny how the world starts to feel smaller. I know many people on different continents now, so obtaining the goal of visiting one of them does not seem so implausible. With that being said, I will definitely need a little help from my friends to obtain this year’s resolution also. I have a friend who lives in Australia, and we agreed to try to see each other sometime this year. Whether he comes here, or I go there, or we meet half way…. so he may be the friend who helps me realize this 2015 resolution. And who knows, maybe there will be a story there.