Thursday, July 5, 2012

sparkles and smoke

A cookout with sundry east-siders, driving out to pick up Tangerine because who wants to spend the 4th alone? I did a couple years ago and it was lonely to stand there in the parking lot watching the neighborhood pyrotechnics alone and then everything that went down after that, and then last year when I crashed a party that a couple friends were invited to at a mansion on the lake where no one talked to me at all, and I wanted to leave but cursed my born gender for not feeling okay with walking home in the dark alone.

So Tangerine, being of a similar mind, and my little sis, who had nothing else to do, came over and as the clouds swirled ominously and the lightning flashed, we walked up the street with some cigarette lighters and a bag of sparklers and smoke bombs and a misplaced fun missile almost set my hoodie on fire. Big clouds of colored smoke cause a certain glee still even though we're relatively too old to be doing this whole bit, and the lighters and the wind meant the butane flames came close to grazing our fingers, so then we gave up and walked down towards the park, thinking it would rain any minute, but it didn't, and there were parties with disco music and people in the street, this is the only time when everyone mingles, and I guess that more than nationalistic feelings is why I love this holiday, there's a bit of anarchy in the air, a cutting loose and a revelry that's rare at any other time.

On the cliffs, the masses gathered with their picnic blankets and glowsticks in the shadow of the houses of the rich, who were shooting off fireworks large and loud enough from the front yard to rival those of the city. All that money burning and exploding in sparks for seconds at a time. Some lady got angry at us for blocking the view of her kid but there was nothing to look at facing the lake and the fireworks hadn't even started yet so I don't know what her problem was, but we decided not to reason with people who seemed a little unhinged.

We kept walking closer to the park, where it looked like a rave for children with all the kids busting their jedi knight moves with glowing rainbow swords and dancing with swirling LED bands. Someonethreatened to come to the house of one of the vendors and kill him for selling her a dud, I wonder if she was the lady that took a contract out to kill one of the parking attendants where I work. While I was wandering through the darkness looking for a restroom, my companions helped a lost kid find his mom and sent him home with the rest of our sparklers except for a couple boxes that we lit together.

The fireworks over the lake were beautiful and since we walked it was easy to get home, and I drove Tangerine back to the east side down the more deserted routes far from the crowds, where massive pyrotechny was happening everywhere and if we weren't totally in the hood, we would have stopped to watch, but then we heard some bullets flying too, and saw things blowing up in the street, so we kept going, buzzed on the adrenaline alone. One of my fellow djs was playing Isis and it was the perfect background sounds to the burning smell and the incandescent flashes. We had plans for post-fireworks diner food and slap-happy absurd conversations, but I knew I'd be tired the next day (getting old sucks) so I apologized to the second shifters and knew I'd made the right decision driving back across town when the only thing keeping me awake was long stonerrific jams and the whirled ponderings of the brain, coming home to fall asleep with the cat sitting guardian, two more days until the celebrations begin again. It's nice to see things looking up for a change...


  1. and I guess that more than nationalistic feelings is why I love this holiday