Its about that time of year. Independence Day. Its actually not my favorite holiday. I'm not huge on celebrating it. Now, before you call me unpatriotic, its not that at all. Despite the faults of the US, I know I'm lucky to live in a country where I have rights I might not have elsewhere.
Honestly, its more the fireworks than anything. I don't like them all that well. Now, big fireworks shows where you sit on a blanket in the grass and watch from afar- those I don't mind. In fact, later this evening I'll be able to see soemthing like that from my front porch because they are doing one of those community events in our downtown area.
I just dont like them up close and personal. I've played with my fair share of them, no question. About four years ago I went out into the country with Rogue to a friend of ours farm and we shot some off. I was even stupid enough to hold a roman candle in my hand while it was lit. I'm fine, I suppose, when a person handling them is responsible. I also have a huge penchant for fountains. Those are great because you just light them and move away and watch the pretty. I like those.
I'll tell you what I don't like though- people who are unsafe with them. And bottle rockets. And fireworks in the city. See, its a hot time of year and people in our city shoot them off between the first of july and the weeks after the holiday. It annoys me. One, its loud and when I want to sleep it pisses me off. Two, its dry. I don't want to have to wet my roof just to make sure my house doesn't catch fire because some jackass feels like they need to shoot them off inside city limits (illegal, I might add). There's any number of people I know who do other stupid things, like bottle rocket wars. Who in thier right mind thinks its cool to aim a firework that could seriously injure someone at one of their friends? Its just not my thing.
Also, a scarring personal experience I mentioned a blog or two ago. When I was about 13 i had a terrible dream the night of the fourth. I was at a strange house and I was walking around to the back yard. I saw my brother, Punk, with his eyes on fire. The dream faded, and I saw him again, his head wrapped in a white netting, patches over his eyes. He was laying down, and shaking all over. I woke screaming. I told my mom and step-dad about the dream. My parents chalked it up to me being afraid of the fireworks we had been shooting off. They told me to go back to bed.
The next year we went to a barbque at the home of some people my parents went to church with. Some of the kids were playing with a military style smoke bomb, you know, the kind that are huge, in long tubes. Punk went over to take it away from them because it was dangerous, and they were small. It exploded in his hand when he took it from one of the kids. I watched, frozen in horror as it caught his eyes on fire, just like in my dream. I saw it all over. If you've ever experienced deja vu you know the feeling I'm talking about. I knew what was happening. I knew how it would end. I fell into a mass of hysterical crying. Later, I went to see my brother in the ER. His face was bandaged just as I had seen it.
I remember two things about that night clearly. The first is that I truly began to put stock in my dreams. I had experienced it before, having a dream that happened, but this was the first time that anything truly frightening I had dreamed had come true. I remember for a time I was afraid to sleep. I told my parents over and over that night "I told you it would happen. Dont you remember?" They didn't seem to. Or they didn't want to. My faily is religious, but they tend towards the belief that anything fantastic must be blasphemous. The other thing I remember clearly is I've never liked fireworks since that time.
I would say to you, my friends, respect fire and fireworks. Be careful, whatever you do this fourth, and return back to me safely.