Does anyone but me remember that song, "4th of July," from the early 80s, by Dave Alvin and the Blasters, later covered by X? God I love that song. It's kind of like "Independence Day" by Bruce Springsteen but not as deep down depressing. More fun to sing along.
So...I'm a great big sucker for the U.S.A. It's true. And while I hate this super hot, uber humid Washington summer crap; there is no better place to be for the Fourth. The National Mall. Buckets of chicken and watermelon. The actual Declaration of Independence. The National Symphony's tribute to the music of Star Wars and the 1812 Overture (the mind boggles at this choice- but what the hell!). The Washington Nationals are in first place. As are my beloved Red Sox.
Y'know what? There's no point to this post at all, no conclusion I can think of to draw. I'm just excited and didn't feel like working.
Sometimes, I'm not even writing for myself anymore. Or the world at large. Sometimes, I'm just filling space and time with my own sacrament of language. An empty act, perhaps. But I don't think it's pointless. I abhor the silence before the fireworks.
Once in New Orleans, New Year's Day midnight, 1994, Matt and I sat on the levy watching fireworks go off in the thick Lousiana winter. From Monhegan Island, Maine, me and the robot founding family saw silent streams of light rise and fall 20 miles away in some small Maine town. I've seen Canada Day fireworks over Niagara Falls; it was my first night in a foreign country and I was 24 and alone. In Alaska, I sat at the top of a ferris wheel when they shot off the display and we stayed at the ride's zenith the entire time. My little apartment in NYC, 1993, was right over the Hudson - the boats lined up before us, just for us. My small town in North Carolina, when I was a kid, was the first small town to experiment with the hundred-pound firework shell. We put six people in the hospital.
So...if you were here, I'd cut you off a hunk of watermelon and we'd get some maps and together, figure out the best place to see these little explosions of liberty or vanity or just mirrors on the Potomac or whatever. I don't really care. Bring on the fireworks. Bring on the high school marching band, strolling down Constitution Avenue playing "Hey Ya!"