Pin Head the Fireman | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pin Head the Fireman

By Jimmy Cvetic


I was sitting with Pin Head
Drinking a beer.
He just retired from the fire department
After twenty-five years.
I asked him, "Did you ever put out a fire?"
He said, "No, but I started a few."
I said, "Every man to his own poison."
He said, "Sometimes I miss the action."
I said, "Well, light your house up 
And fall through the burning floor.
It will bring back memories."
He said, "No, really, sometimes I miss the heat
Sirens and running into the flames."
I said, "Are you crazy?"
He said, "It's hard to explain
Unless you had the heat."
I said, "You miss stealing from the unfortunate
People that watch everything go up in flames."
He said, "I remember an old guy
That came walking back to the truck.
Smoke all over his face and
His legs were clinking,
Clink ... clink ... clink.
Inside his rubber boots
Were two bottles of whiskey."
"What did you do?"
He said, "Nothing.
I thought about telling the Captain,
But then you're labeled a snitch."
"What ever happened to the guy?"
"He went away some place in a puff of smoke
And then he retired and died."
I said, "Any regrets?"
"Just a couple.
Should have shared the whiskey."
He looked a thousand miles away.
"Yeah, wish I could have stopped ...
A couple of our guys that walked into the final alarm,
When everything came crashing down.
I knew the girl,
Conway ... she was pretty ... two others.
Nobody's fault ... 
They died for no good reason."
I said, "Some things you have no control over."
Pin Head ordered another beer.
"One time I saved a couple of kids on the third floor,
If that counts for anything."
I said, "It counts just like the guy that took the bottles of whiskey.
It all counts."

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