Around 9:30 this evening, with three minutes left to watch in Hitch, it dawned on me that this was Independence Day, my very favorite holiday, and that I had done absolutely nothing to commemorate it. Then a huge aerial exploded in the vicinity my backyard and scared the Cheez-Its out of me.
Praying that the firework stand by the gas station was still open, I gathered up my wallet and my brother and hopped in the Durango.
Hamilton is really not that impressive on the Fourth of July. At least, not compared to the battlefield of Evanston, Wyo., where you have to drive cautiously through the streets at 3 MPH, dodging mortar tubes, firecrackers, and small children. Sure, a family on the next block was set up in the middle of the road, limiting my route options, but most of the streets were clear.
However, although I was under the impression that they were illegal within city limits here, we saw some aerials going off on our drive through town. It thrilled me to see that the stand was both open and putting on a beautiful show of its own.
T and I grabbed the essentials (firecrackers, ground flowers, bottle rockets, and sparklers) and moseyed on home to enjoy our spoils.
I did some obligatory air writing with my sparklers while I made sure that T stayed a sensible distance from both the house and his truck as he played with his explosives. That boy is a veritable font of pyrotechnic ingenuity. It's amazing what he can do with a few empty cream soda bottles and a lighter. For the record, dropping a flower into a bottle is not nearly as exciting as it could be, but it sure is pretty.
At one point, T stuck a whole bundle of bottle rockets in a bottle with the paper still binding them together, then lit a sparkler and stuck it in with them. It knocked the bottle over and a bunch of the rockets shot off across the ground.
I feared for our lives when the bundle of firecrackers he threw slid across the hood of the truck, which happened to be where we were keeping the rest of the fireworks. Fortunately, nothing terrible happened.
Our one impulse buy was a little T-Rex. He was magnificent. First, he shot fire from his mouth. Then, three fireworks along his back lit up like spikes. His grand finale was a bunch of sizzling stars shooting out of his feet. I wished we had more. We could have gotten some of those little tanks and reenacted Godzilla.
One of my favorite moments was when Tristan lit a flower out in the road and danced around it, quintessentially himself.
Stars! how I love the way today smells. There are few better smells in the world. I love that sulfuric perfume, the one that leaves a metallic taste on the back of your throat as it passes by. You can't fabricate that. It only comes around once a year, but I would wait for it forever if I had to.
Listening to: the scream of bottle rockets
Reading: Looking for Alaska by John Green