I’ve decided to go back to the Studio 30Plus prompts, mostly so I can write more often. Fireworks is as good a prompt as any to begin with, as this week is Independence Day in the US.

For us, here in the bone-dry southwest, “fireworks” is like the impossible dream. Our most local professional display has been cancelled. Every other year we’ve been up until well after midnight listening to the firecrackers across the neighborhood. We even set some off in the driveway or in the street. Not this year. It’s been an eerie silence. Didn’t even bother with going to the tents scattered all over in every open parking lot nearby.

One of the things I’m most terrified by is loud, sharp, sudden noises. Like thunder. Or gunshots. Or fireworks. I was pretty young when I went to my first fireworks show. I was told I screamed like someone was shooting us. Mom said, “They’re pretty flowers! In the sky!” Apparently I said: “Scary pretty flowers! Noooo! Go away!”

In the years since, I’ve toughened up. I can be around guns and not flinch on the outside. I can even go to a fireworks show and not get freaked out – on the outside. My daughter, on the other hand – not a fireworks fan. When she was younger, we couldn’t have dreamed of going. None of us would have had any fun at all. I doubt that we’d even have stayed past the beginning of the show.

She enjoys setting them off now, and we watch the shows that we can see from our back deck (a surprising amount of them). But going to see them is still a little much.

The one time I truly enjoyed seeing fireworks was when I was living in Manhattan. I was dating a guy who lived out in Queens, a friend of my boss’. We all went to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, sat on one of the berms and watched the Macy’s show. We could kind of hear the music, so my boss turned up his car stereo instead. The light show and the Cure together was a pretty great combination.

This year there are fires close by. One is now in the “cleaning up” stages, and all the evacuation orders have been lifted. Some of the places near us will have fireworks, but quite a few won’t. There’s always the Macy’s fireworks on TV, I guess.

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