Once again, I find myself outside of the norm, not understanding the fascination, and not part of the excitement. Having returned from an earlier outing, I am at home listening to the fireworks in my neighborhood. They’ve been popping every night for the past few days.
I’m not watching the fireworks this year – been there, done that – both up close at the Esplanade with the hordes of July 4th revelers and from a distance out in Milton on a high bluff. (I’ve even watched them on TV.) I don’t like large crowds, especially hordes of people who think celebrating means being drunk-as-a-skunk while loudly proclaiming their patriotism. People will behave in crowds in ways they will not behave alone.
Instead, I hear the sounds of fire crackers and missiles popping in the neighborhood and the occasional shrieks of little kids. One reassuring thing about the 4th is that I can be fairly certain that the pops I hear are fire works and not the occasional gunfire we hear in this neighborhood.
I don’t like the sound of fire crackers. Sparklers have lost their fascination since I was a kid. The sound of firecrackers without the splendor of a fireworks display makes no sense to me. I didn’t even like it when I was a kid. Now, the pops sound like warfare and make me imagine what it must be like to live in a war-torn area and hear gunfire and bomb explosions all the time. I would be a bundle of nerves.
I would also be a bundle of nerves if I lived in an area where guns could be carried openly, brazenly in a holster on one’s hip. I can see myself walking out of restaurants, movies, stores and other places I currently frequent. It’s bad enough that shootings from which one used to be safe if one avoided certain spots at night, have crept into happening in the most innocuous and heavily populated day-time hours and places. One cannot avoid violence. All I can do is:
- live my life fully,
- look over my shoulder and keep my internal radar scanning,
- remove myself from volatile situations when they begin,
- and trust my sixth sense when it says – don’t walk or ride there today.
Why are the pops of firecrackers thrilling for some people when they are chilling for others (like me)? Am I really just a big chicken, nervous Nellie, square-from-no-where, party-pooper? Peace, tranquility, laughter, music, dancing – that’s how I like to celebrate.