There's something grand about the non-utilitarian nature of these traditional explosions. I understand the connection to military matters, but these funny blowings up are mainly, I prefer to think, to make a pretty show in the sky. They've gotten much groovier during my lifetime, too. It was fun and odd and kinda wistful to drive along and spot so many signs of shooting-off places, with the implied audiences thereabouts. I know it's not the first time I've been driving somewhere on the 4th & found myself witnessing pyrotechnics, but there were so many this time.
The former president of my little college, a chemistry guy, had made his reputation for work on two things: fireworks and napalm. I try to bear this connection in mind, but I do like the lights. Especially the darker colors, and the disc-like halos of discrete dots, and the wispy tinsel ones, and the squiggling off white zippers that seem to rise up after the big main bloom. When I bought my selection of explosives this year, I had to work to avoid war-themed items, but I managed.
Home now. Found major cat pee situation to deal with, but got that pretty much taken care of and have unpacked CPAP and shall soon fall into bed.
Had answering machine messages that made me (a) smile and (b) cringe. Also discovered voicemail from my brother from the other day. He seems very far away. Will have to e- and/or call him soon.
Earlier spent almost an hour sitting 12 cars back from a tractor-trailer toppling that brought a Med-Evac helicopter to land on I-70 and had a line of many of us strangers chatting speculatively next to the median strip wildflowers, in an oddly intimate mutual contemplation of life-and-death hanging in the balance right in front of us, and yet none of us bothering to introduce ourselves even in the most rudimentary ways, as we all knew we'd be back to our tin can anonymity as soon as they finally started letting one lane by. I do wonder if that driver made it; they had to cut him out of the cab. The rumor was that his son was in there with him & was fine. Thinking of it now I keep seeing my orange Chucks stepping across the rumble strip gaps on the shoulder, and the square jaw and crisply angled cap brim of that big guy from Rhode Island I was hanging with for a while, while his kid slumped in the passenger seat of their big black pickup.
It's weird to be home. It's weird, too, to realize that the longer, leisurely trip that would allow me to check in with all the folks in the East I'd like to spend time with is a longer trip than I think I want to take these days.
Ch. Humph is in the window in front of me, and cool air comes in in waves. Ch. Chet is in the other room somewhere. In the morning I shall go see what's what in the yard & then maybe visit the grocer's.
I feel rather very on my own, and in my own skin. Free agent. Was it Ray Carver or Max Apple who did that book of short stories?
What we talk about when we talk about x ... now THAt was a (title) concept.