July 4, 2012

I’m wearing all blue again. A boxy periwinkle-blue linen shirt and roomy denim-blue pull-on pants. My sandals are red. I am dressed like an American on this day of agitated celebration.

In California fireworks are illegal. Because everything is. But, like any other banned substance, their are plenty of fireworks to be had. From the wharf you can look back at Seabright Beach and watch the competition. Groups of people from either end of the beach send rocketing explosions of light into the night sky and eventually, down the beach toward each other. The police arrest innocents and bystanders and the crowd disperses.
But not here. In Oregon fireworks are perfectly legal and families buy bushels full at the make-shift stands that pop up along MLK Boulevard. Neighborhood blocks close down to traffic and folks bbq and play ping-pong ball and eventually drunk dads revert to their teenage selves and risk blowing off their hands in the lighting of miniature bombs. A thick smoke rises over the city and dogs wail and flee.
I like to get out of town on the 4th. The revelry makes me nervous. And so Bello and I are heading east, in the little red truck, to a farm in the town of Sandy. Tonight I will gaze at the gentle spidery fireworks in the night sky, the soft twinkle and occasional streak of the stars. And I will wish for this life to go on forever.


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