Since the fourth was a washout, our town decided to celebrate Independence Day on Saturday instead. The fireworks were supposed to start at 9pm, when the summer sky mimicked the gorgeous and ethereal blues of a Parrish painting. (Or is it the other way around?)
At 8:50 I walked along a country road, my destination not far from my residence. The display could be seen quite clearly from my perch upon a girder.
I sat and marveled at the night sky. A brilliant waxing moon held court in the heavens, as Mars and the planet Spica appeared as pin pricks nestled near the moon’s peak. The moon looked like a spinnaker, sailing in an endless star-drenched sea. A lone contrail floated lazily past the moon’s visage, a gray, worm-like whirl of smoke.
Behind me, darkled woods harbored who knew what nocturnal beasts. Best to stay focused on the night sky instead. The mosquitos were relentless. I heard they love O-negative blood, and they came in droves to feast on my entire body. But still I sat firm, feebly swatting at these tiny bloodthirsty marauders.
The show began. Cars had materialized on the banks of the road, and silhouetted heads gazed skyward. It was an incredible light show, even by small town standards. One by one, brilliant bursts and cannon shots filled the air, the firework remnants falling in a cascade of fleeting embers, the smoke whisked away by an evening breeze.
Even the mosquitos took pause from their frenzy. The fireworks appeared as though in 3-D with every expansion of color. The finale arrived, filling the heavens with a bombardment of sound and color and fire, and the last of the cannon shots faded into the distance.
The last wisps of smoke trailed off, much like the contrail. I stood and scratched, and felt the swells and bumps from the unseen pesky little vampires.
Car lights broke the darkness as I walked home, happy to know I’d be inside before long. Before I entered my driveway, a long corridor of cars had already formed, all waiting for the light to change.
I stepped inside, cracked open a cold beer, and sat down to my computer. I thought about the spectacle that had just transpired.
Transfixed first by the moon, and then by the dazzling display, I took another pull and began to write. I wrote, and absently scratched my calf.
Despite having been drained of a little blood, it was a fine way to have spent a belated celebration.
Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2014-All Rights Reserved.