I guess some of my neighbors are slow, or just coming out of their opiate induced comas. There is an extremely high amount of firework activity going on. Not that fireworks year round in my neighborhood is unusual in anyway. If I had PTSD I’d be a raving wreck right about now. Last night Ric and I couldn't believe the amount of fireworks going off, we were cracking up, it sounded like a battle was commencing. About 9 PM we decided to walk to the store. As we approached the street where the store was, we were greeted by the sound of a screaming rocket, and the strong smell of gunpowder. We looked towards the store through the haze (that had settled over the nation, I’m sure) as our little white trash part of town was launching bottle rockets and other flying noisy explodable things onto the Four Seasons Asian Market rooftop. The first thing visible was 3 pick-up trucks with monster tires, and three or four dogs barking from a gated fenced area. Four generations of family were standing in a semi-circle, barefoot in the middle of the street, hooting and hollering, drinking and barbequing on their front lawn. Every now and then, the thundery sound of explosions was interrupted by the wail of a siren on an emergency vehicle.
When I was younger, I would consistently go to the Safety Harbor Recreation Center, where they held a large and rather impressive annual fireworks show. I remember going to several years in a row, and seeing all my other friends and their families spread out on blankets and in lawn chairs, eating food, lighting off sparklers and roman candles all over a large baseball field and lawn area. My plan would be to stay overnight with a friend and ride in with their family. It was usually more fun and stress-free that way. I don’t’ remember my parents ever going to the Rec Center, I think at that point in their lives, they were doing other things (like arguing). As my friends and I got older, we would ride our bikes down there with a blanket in a backpack. I think when I was 18 I took acid and went, and stepped on a hot sparkler and didn’t feel it. Anyway, in 1988, I was about 15 and with my friends, watching this great fireworks show, when all of a sudden many bright fireworks went off, right at ground level. It seemed like the grand finale, but the show had barely started and we felt the fireworks should have ignited in the sky. I think there were some more fireworks briefly after that, but it was apparent something was wrong. The next day, we learned that a firefighter blew his arm off!
I’ve been thinking about that ever since. I just had to get it off of my chest.
I’m pretty guilty in the fireworks mischief department, too. I’ve sent my share of G.I. Joes onto expeditions into the great beyond tied to a bottle rocket. My friends and I used to aim them at this neighborhood development that was under construction near our house, and we would pretend that the half built houses were enemy territory. We never retrieved those Joes...