Saturday morning and it's beautifully sunny and cold outside. We're a little tired and achey - our show count goes up on the weekends, and that extra few burns really takes it out of me, but there was fresh crab with melted butter for breakfast so that helps.
It's not the fire dancing. The fire dancing is great. Fun, exciting, exhilarating, especially for big excited weekend audiences. It's the cold cold weather, and the "shaking out" - the 20 minutes of prep time before each show, fueling up all the tools and spinning them around vigorously to get the extra gas out before lighting them so it doesn't spray the audience. My body is sick to death of shaking out.
Last night during our 3rd show I didn't shake out quite well enough, and I could feel the little microscopic fuel droplets spraying me as I started our finale choreography. My tired mind started repeating, "don't hit yourself, or you'll catch fire. Don't hit yourself, or you'll catch fire.."
Now, you know what happens when you repeat a mantra like that, yes? You HIT YOURSELF. Or more specifically, you hit your partner. Bang on top of the head, with both wet poi at once. I managed to light almost his entire head on fire with one perfectly-aimed strike.
With flaming poi in my hands, I couldn't do a thing about it either.. except get wide-eyed and start blowing for all I was worth like my 50th birthday cake was lit up in front of me and I was guaranteed to get my wish if I could get them all out. (note to the uninitiated: when you blow on a fire, it.. um.. flares up higher)
The audience ooh'd and aah'd while Darrell calmly reached up and smoothed the fire from his long, flowing red tresses and then grinned at the audience while comically shaking finger at me. His big smile calmed the audience (and ME) down to the point where everyone relaxed, I jumped back into the choreography and we finished the show spot-on.
He's fine. He just got out of the shower and honestly, I can't even tell that I burned off a good portion of his hair. He's not even mad at me as far as I can tell. I feel guilty as hell though.. couldn't sleep too well last night, so I am baring my conscience and begging forgiveness. Darrell, I won't light your head on fire anymore, ok?