Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Happy Fourth of July (belated)

I don't get into fireworks much. Every year, I look out my window when they're going off at Rice-Eccles stadium, then go to bed. It's also pretty much the only day of the year I feel like making hamburgers. I made some and brought friends over for it, then had heartburn that lasted until this morning. Still. Bacon-wrapped is the only way to go. I also wrote this. Sortof a free write, but I took time to breathe and punctuate. I just failed to use paragraphs. Let it all hang out, I say.


The fireworks are popping like bubble wrap and never stopping and, yet, I don't go to my window. I expect the popping asphalt behind me to continue like a Chinese carnival. I expect to see a paper Mache dragon, the one from my imagination, but will likely see toothless grins and babies growing up to be cowboys. Were I the one to light, my eyes would be alive, too, but age and homemade burgers have weighed me down with an ache inside my stomach and back, made me a heavy pillow on a light chair. It’s time to muse and remember the time of 10 years and more gone by when fireworks were firecrackers, less than a dime on the street’s side and doubling as grenades. Only nobody called them that. They were warning red and punched fists clean off with short fuses. To light was to run away before it hit, boomed like a broken sound barrier, erupted like the ear drums you once cherished, the ruined things only used for the rock ‘n roll, the very same ones you discovered as you stood in front of concert speakers. That was wartime, when going in before the six ‘o clock news meant you got a light show when you looked, your own Private Ryan where tonight you saved your own ass, placed it on a front row bed and witnessed a painted sky when the explosions embraced uninvited storm clouds with dust and smoke, wispy debris. The stray bullets never made their way here, but more sleep came than it had in weeks and you remembered wisdom in a president, the one who urged to save yourself and the snoring beside you, the man who can sleep through this apocalypse and does, the end of times you were sure you’d never see. And so dragons don’t matter, nor electric popping centipedes across the below, so why look? Why squint so hard to filter out disappointment? It would be more a surprise to be surprised, though this riddle has been figured. What symbol of our independence involves greasy fingers in buckets of chicken, squirming on the wet grass and faking awe while suffering through a stiff neck? Alex Trebek has your answer. And yet the popping turns to sonic booms now, the ones that paint themselves red and sparkled pink, fuchsia. Not long yet before they pack it in, when the loudest one sends them back again, the finale to their freedom, the flag that says they can do this and will for as long as lives last and beyond. It was meant for more burgers and friends and bikinis, no less, but this turn sends us skyward. This is the storm inside the storm we admire. The raindrops will never change.

4 comments:

Cindy said...

I went to the fireworks celebration at Gasworks. It would have been fun if you had come too. Really, you should have moved up here a long time ago, oh well. You could have sat in on the conversation that two of my friends had in the park about "why is it that because all of society goes and watches large fireworks in the sky, that is the norm and if I'm not doing that, it's bizarre." Only you would have been holed up in your apartment here as well if you lived here, no?

Did that make any sense? I'm sort of confused.

Dainon said...

Perfect sense. We'd be like the grumpy old men from the Muppets, commenting how crazy the fireworks were and, yet, we'd still be there watching.

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