Since it is now the 4th of July, I’m going to explain my irrational fear of fireworks.
Okay, maybe not so irrational but whatever. Here goes.
When I was 8, my family went to the house of another family for 4th of July festivities. Fun was had by all. Until a bottle-rocket was placed into a hole in the ground instead of, you know, a bottle, and it took off in a wonky direction. The target? My right shoulder.
Christ, that hurt. Have you ever been shot in the shoulder with a bottle rocket? I’m guessing not. The pain was unbelievable. So obviously I’m screeching and screaming and making all kinds of ouchy noises. Stupid Jeremy Hayes thought I was on fire and promptly hosed me down. So there I am, in pain, and soaking wet. In front of tons of people. Have I mentioned I was an extraordinarily shy child? And THEN, because I don’t have extra clothes with me, I’m stripped down and wrapped in a towel. But I was cared for by a very sweet lady there who was a nurse and given a popsicle.
The bruise that stayed on my shoulder for over a week was amazing. And when I went to ballet class the next day with my leotard strap cutting into the giant black/blue/yellow splotch that I swear extended beyond my body I thought: Fireworks are the most horrible thing on God’s green earth.
For years after that, whenever fireworks were being set off in the driveway or street, I watched them from inside. I’m here to tell you that watching fireworks from a front living room window is really difficult, no matter how you press against the glass and roll your eyes to the heavens. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I was willing to venture outside to see them. And even then I stayed close to the house in a stance that kept me prepared for maximum evasion tactics should so much as a sparkler seem to come my way. A couple years after that, I managed to hold a Roman Candle in my hand as it shot multicolored sparks out of the end. That is progress. But I still never light the fireworks, God no.
This is pretty sad considering how much I love watching fireworks. I stare up at the sky like a little kid, completely fascinated and enthralled. Especially when it’s a big show and I know they’re all being lit far, far away from me. That’s the best kind.