this week's life lesson: i'm not a fan of recreational fireworks. in fact, as chuck's whole block was glowing like a war zone, i expected the old man next door's thumb to land in my mojito and for the air to become thick with the smell of the burning hair of college boys. the whole thing kind of freaked me out. all that whizzing from different directions and the yahoos singing "proud to be an american." sensory overload, i tell you. i eventually had to curl up in the fetal position and rock myself toward a semblence of normality that never came.
my next door neighbors like to sit on the roof with their pitbull and cheap beer. they begin lighting firecrackers in late april and finally close up shop sometime around thanksgiving. it starts around noon and lasts until 3-4 a.m. i hate them passionately. it seems impossible to me that people with hardly a full set of non meth infested teeth between them have not fallen off the roof yet. sometimes i expect to see the pitbull hanging like a pinata from his leash. i think they've inspired my fear of fireworks.
last year, around 3:45 a.m. in mid-summer, i asked them to please lay off for the rest of the night. these things don't usually bother me. from then on, everytime i walked in or out of my house, the underaged and overweight girlfriend would slur drunken insults at me with words summoned from some sort of fifth-grade, school bus archive.
on the fourth of july, i had to take a time out at burrito union. left pucci to pick up our quesadilla's while i took a mental health break on fourth street. a handful of boys walked down the street with spiked 2 liter pop bottles. stumbling and liberally using the word "cock block" until the term no longer sounded like it was being spoken in english.
i was still regrouping at the red lion.
but the tap room sort of made me regress.
by quinlan's i was starting to feel better and had gotten over the image of charred bodies shrieking and running down the street; the civic catching an amateur's stray flame and combusting like a back zit.
in the cab on the way home, the driver and his friend were watching "the family guy" on a dvd in the front seat. every time i snuggle my keister into the backseat of a cab, some new quirk sets this ride home apart from the others.
"are you guys dating?" i asked the driver.
"nah," he chortled. "we're just best friends. ... as soon as we're done tonite we're going to go to my house and sing karoake. i have five cases of beer."
i couldn't find my fourth of july happy place. we'd hiked five miles through hot swampy air. un and down hills behind the zoo. in my heart of hearts, i wished that on this day we would meet an escaped kangeroo bouncing along on the path. the best part was a steep set of wooden stairs that led down a hill near spirit mountain. by the time we were done, i did not have an ounce of liquid left in my body. i thought maybe i'd celebrate the fourth of july in the dark, in my underwear, listening to felicity's annoying whisper. ben. noel. ben. noel. adam. ben.
i ate four stuffed olives for dinner and drank two mojitos.
"you can have your mo-Hee-to," i told my friends. "me? i'm going to drink a mo-jit-o."
it seemed harder to catch a buzz than to catch a sunburn from a roman candle.
the night ended with a frozen pizza and nip/tuck. pucci snoring on the floor, then waking and lifting her head like a curious doberman when a firecracker exploded outside the window at about 3 a.m. the look of disappointment on her face when she realized there was just one piece of pizza left.
yesterday pucci and i went to the beach. i swadled myself in the spf equivilent of a leather body suit. the underwire on my bikini top threatened to deflate my right breast and black flies made tapas out of my ankle bones. pucci twice peed in the world's largest freshwater urinal, doing her part to make it warm enough to swim in by august.
that is the measure of a respectful out of town guest.