Fire Building

by MW Cook

Kunri StreetI wrap a blanket around myself and drag the metal fire holder to the open part of our apartment where there is no roof.  I build the fire to heat our bathing water.  The landlord’s teenaged children, who often peek under our door to watch us, are surprised that I know how.  I ask if this is because they assume a high-class white boy like myself would know such a rural skill.  They say it’s because building fires is such unmanly work.  I say it is considered very manly to be able to build a strong fire in Canada.  They laugh, because that’s stupid.