July 4th, 2021

caillebotte_man at his window

Reset Twenty-One, Day Eight

Uneventful Saturday has gone, and for the last few hours premature celebrants have been setting off illegal fireworks. Here in the mini-metropolis, of course, it's nothing like Los Angeles, where the cherry bombs and Roman candles are accompanied by gunfire, and where later tonight the smoke will hang so thick in the air and the smell of gunpowder be so strong that veterans will have flashbacks, but even here there will be panicked dogs whimpering and cats will hide wide-eyed under beds. Fireworks are illegal in highly flammable Butte County except in two of the incorporated cities, and Chico is not one of them. Still, patriotic scofflaws and self-indulgent kids will have their fun blowing shit up.

Every fifteen minutes or so all night there have been assorted pops and bangs, some of them near, some far, some softer and some louder. Who would have thought so many people would be staying awake in this backwater? And of course come actual Independence Day nightfall there will be more explosions. I don't expect anything as spectacular as the recent event in Los Angeles when the police bomb squad managed to blow up a truck into which they had loaded a large cache of confiscated illegal fireworks, causing much damage and numerous injuries, but then Butte County seldom does things on such a scale. Here we just let the utility company burn down entire towns.

For the last few nights (well, days) I've been getting only six or so hours of sleep before I wake up and find myself unable to either turn off or fully engage my brain. This situation invariably means a long sleep is coming, maybe ten or more hours. It's only a matter of when, but the longer it is put off the longer that sleep will be. I'm expecting it within the next few days. It will most likely be followed by a couple of days of more than ordinary muddle-headedness. This time it will coincide with a heat wave. Should be interesting. Should be harrowing.

The mockingbird has been singing again tonight. He doesn't seem to be bothered by the firecrackers. He's got problems of his own. I guess that means the firecrackers shouldn't bother me either. And indeed, they don't. As long as the assholes setting them off don't set anything on fire.


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