Diary of a 4th of July

Worked (all felines: Izzy, Jack, Piper, Clark, Lucy, Darko, Todd, Burt, Mica—love them all); Graham and Lauren, Ellen and Julia, Ellen’s friend ending his Ramadan today; kittens; hard lemonade, shitty Malbec, salsa, chips, guacamole, ohdeargodwhydidIeatsomuch; girls to little park with pepper gel and caps; neighbors’ fireworks go far above parched trees; walk to Sugar House Park, American “pride” bittersweet: injustice, racism, homelessness, hopelessness, the fantasy of believing in a dying “dream”; cars, cars, cars, boys singing to “Get Low”, fleece blanket making me sweat, can’t reach Julia who’s already there; see James and Indy, find a spot, then another; see Kerry; fireworks start, music starts, same old music, same old American livefeed; so many people, so many many people, fireworks into the sky, blankets, glowsticks, children, drones; weed smoke; a baby is handed to his daddy, who hugs him and lifts him into the air; boom, sky lights up, silhouettes of so many people, so many many people; why not watch from down the street? Why sojourn to the park?; Livy and Lauren lying down, friendship, the new generation, complicated, wise, do they feel pride?; people gazing up, booms, lights, pictures in the glow; the daddy speaks to his group, another language/Middle Eastern?, the group laughs, mostly men, on blankets, two feet away, the baby handed back to mom and she is dressed in a matching outfit to the baby; and I’m staring at them, and can’t look away, for there is love of their culture mixed with forgiveness of xenophobes, braving traffic and crowds and heat so that they came to share “America” with their baby; and the mom in tan shorts and the baby in American flag Navy, and we all sit and it’s gorgeous, and there’s hope, and the men clap as the last of the fireworks fade, and the Dream lives, and we walk home.

[Postscript: The blanket I took said “Dream” which was unintentional and not designed to make a statement on America in spite of the picture I took of the words while simultaneously feeling those feelings, but it perhaps BECAME a statement because, while we were walking home, I was stung by a bee that had hidden inside the blanket when I’d lain it on the grass of Sugar House Park.   Making the ending to this story “A bee stings from hidden inside the American Dream blanket”, the subtitle of a bigger story titled “America the Bittersweet.”

(And it’s still beautiful.)]

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