After exposing the deepest, darkest secrets of mine on this site, in the interest of balance and all things fair, I must cleanse my self by thinking of beauty.

Crashed out on the floor of some wood in the rain, somewhere, covered in pine-needles and mud, soaking wet and getting wetter, with three people on top, underneath and all around me, something had to be done - more strangers-stroke-friends were arriving and the floor was rapidly getting muddier.

The word 'fire' came from nowhere, and, like a fire, spread went from abstract to concrete in three and a half seconds flat.

Struggled to my feet, shaking off raindrops, mud, pine-needles and people, set off in search of wood that was still dry enough to burn. We all did. Now that the wind was blowing it was cold. Now a fire was necessary.

People dragged their treasure back in triumph, but I, I had the ultimate prize - half a tree had blown down, and I dragged it back, destroying all in my path in my efforts to retrieve. Amid the appreciative 'ooohs' and 'aahhs' of my fellow pyre builders, I hurled with the last of my strength my offering. It landed right on top, and as it landed I collapsed back onto the floor in drunken exhaustion.

The mud and pine-needles welcomed me back as if I'd never been gone. True friends.

The fire wouldn't start, and all the dry wood we'd tried so hard to find was starting to get damp. Then there! Off to the left! Past the drinks can! The tiniest flame was beautiful, and it was all ours

It spread, as fires tend to do, and soon the whole pile was alight.

Huddled around with all my friends - they had found their way back underneath, on top, and around me - feeling the tip of my nose thaw and drip and finally glow with warmth, we watched as the fingers of the flames reached out to us, and, thanks to the illegal substances in our bloodstreams, seemingly all around us.

A lot of the gang moved away, scattered to university, aid work in africa, opium in thailand, living with step-parents....

If only I'd known they were going, I would have appreciated that evening for what it was - that I was watching the most beautiful thing I had ever seen

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