fireworks to the east
Saturday, July 4 2020
We had our second Saturday morning coffee in a row, and the New York Times Spelling Bee panagram (which I quickly figured out) was "hackney." That particular combination of letters led to yet another day of nearly having lots of great words that could've existed, for example, if only for an L.
I was feeling dysphoric today, probably from all the booze drinking I've been doing lately. I haven't given myself the chance to recover naturally from a hangover in days, and I didn't do it today either. The effects were partly psychological and partly intestinal; I kept feeling mild distress in my gut.
This evening I agreed to watch a second episode of Watchmen with Gretchen. But that was real mistake. It was soon clear to me that it was totally not my form of entertainment (mostly due to artifacts of the comic series it was derived from), and yet I felt compelled to keep watching. Coupled with my alcohol-induced dysphoria, I felt trapped, almost the way I'd felt when watching a local production of Waiting for Godot. When it was over, I declared to Gretchen that I would be watching no more episodes of Watchmen.
Later, Gretchen was watching the recent Disney release of Hamilton while I took a shower, as I hadn't bathed in days. I didn't want to get sucked in to Hamilton, but I listened to it from a distance. I was struck by how fresh it sounded: a hip hop musical. I could imagine older people being threatened by it, unable to distinguish between Disney-friendly hip hop and gangsta rap. But that's how the arts always advances: by shocking the old folks. By the time it's a Disney property though, there can't be that many people left to shock.
It being the Fourth of July, there were hundreds of illegal fireworks displays audible from the more densely-populated areas to the east. I'd read a lot about an uptick in illegal fireworks in recent weeks related to people bored and jobless due to the pandemic, but around here that had mostly taken the form of target practice at the bus turnaround. Tonight, though, the booming of fire crackers started before dark and continued past midnight. At some point I climbed up onto the solar deck and could see a full moon rising near the north end of Shaupeneak Ridge, visible through a narrow gap in the nearby foliage. From various places in the eight and a half mile swath of land between here and there, occasional flashes of fireworks were visible.
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