Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I'm sorry I didn't bring you all to my house last night. The fireworks over Lake Union were the best I've seen in Seattle. (With the possible exception of the fireworks at the Space Needle on New Years--any holiday that practically requires you to kiss a cute boy with your fireworks gets extra points.)

When I was a kid the 4th of July was another excuse for my family to have a party. We'd gather in someone's back yard and have a barbecue, and my Nana would make enough potato salad to feed four times as many people. In the late afternoon the chilled watermelons would come out of the fridge and we would all run shrieking around the block, spitting seeds at each other. There would be squirt guns and excited dogs and sparklers and lukewarm wading pools. From outerspace, we would have looked like a Florida postcard.
Some years, after nightfall, we'd pack into cars and head down to the beach, claiming a lifeguard stand from which to watch the fireworks off of Pier 60. There would always end up being sand in our sandwiches made from leftovers.

I struggle a lot with my family troubles, with how hard it has been to see my family as anything else. And this year I just didn't have it together enough to put together a party, to deal with all the cleaning and the shopping and the disappointment when people can't come. Instead I spent the evening alone, listening to my neighbors try to set the building on fire by throwing bottle rockets at each other (again this year). I'm good at being by myself most of the time, and last night was not a lonely night. My apartment is close enough to where the fireworks go off that sometimes it looks almost as though they're coming to visit, and I hopped around and squealed and clapped the same way I would have had you all been here. My neighbors had radios tuned to the proper soundtrack, and my cold beer fought my camera for position in my right hand. I am trying to reinvent my traditions.

This year for the 4th of July, I stood content on my balcony and watched my sky catch on fire.

No comments: