I was watching a fire twirler today on my final break. He had a long pole with green fire on one end and a fire ring, with several smaller fire pockets attached to it. I was impressed with his apparent fearlessness.

I was impressed because he was standing on a street that sloped downward. There was a guy sitting on the curb, looking up at him. One false move, and the fire twirler might have had to drop the pole, possibly harming his devoted onlooker.

But then it dawned on me: there was no chance of that happening. This fire twirler had practiced his stuff – he knew what he was doing. He wasn’t going to get burned, and he wasn’t going to drop the pole. Again, no chance.

What makes a person want to twirl fire? Why not just twirl a baton? I’m sure fire twirlers have an innate reckless streak – they like to be inches from the flame. But they must also be especially confident in their abilities to want to play with such a harmful element.

I’ve always been impressed with fire twirler types. They seem perfectly relaxed in dangerous situations – but this must be because in their minds, there is no room for error.

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