Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Fourth of July in my new adopted town (heck, any public holiday/event as the Mushroom Festival proved) is primarily an excuse for the natives to get drunk. Last night after we got home from the movies we couldn’t help but notice the bright lights and people milling downtown just blocks from our home. So, since we are newbies here and no less fans of excitement than any other, we headed on down hoping for some kind of pre-4th light show extravaganza. What we encountered were people. Jammed elbow to elbow for about six blocks. A few paltry booths were set up and most people held in their hands those big plastic cups that are usually found at fairs and festivals, good for containing the beer that you would otherwise slosh onto the pavement as you throw your arm around your best friend and say, “YOU are the man, you know what I’m talking about?”

There was no order to the event, just people drinking in the streets. I turned to my honey and I said, “Get to know your community!”

We stopped at a booth to ask if there would be fireworks then or today. The woman inquired where we were from (because apparently if you are a native of this place the fact that you don't know about these events makes it obvious) and we told her.

“Oh, it’s so much better down here!” she said.

I wanted to agree with her, you know, both because it would be really cool to feel that way and, to be polite. But the truth is, I still have feelings for Petaluma. I’m not over it yet. I kind of miss how my neighbors would pull out this aluminum covered saw-horse they put together and light whizzing, screaming fireworks all night until all the neighborhood cats were huddled in closets and the rest of us were sweating from the repeated near-misses on roof-tops and in trees. I miss the river and the downtown, even with its gentrification taking place. If you could blend the diversity and old-fashioned homeiness of this town with Petaluma, I think it might just form a perfect town.

Now, just this morning passing by my window for the parade I have seen:
Two men wearing short shorts and red suspenders; men dressed in the fatigues of multiple wars--clearly some Iraq war demos and a couple of old Vietnam rags; three adults on little scooters you usually see kids on; a fat man in a Boyscout uniform (I pray he's the leader) and now someone is playing a very loud mandolin melody through a loudspeaker.

If the aliens were smart, they’d stop taking people out of their beds at night (wink) and start showing up at local American festivals where the crowds and giddy with spirit and so drunk you could probe ‘em till the sun came up and they’d never remember.


At 1:09 PM, Blogger Patrushka said...

I liked this!

At 1:27 PM, Blogger Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

Glad to make you happy :)


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