Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Almost Independence Day


My dad once set himself on fire with a Roman Candle. This was the seventies and he had a rocking mustache, green polyester pants, and the sense to throw himself in Possum Kingdom Lake to put himself out. I've always hated firecrackers and many of my young fourth of July's were spent sobbing as the vile things exploded all around while my mother told me to get a grip on myself. After I was raped, I hated it even more. Loud noises are nobody's friend! Consuming massive amounts of hot dogs and barbecue while blowing tons of money on explosives does not seem like the ideal way to celebrate independence so I go for a more measured approach -- rocking in fetal position in my room until the day is over. The last time I went out for an "event" on the fourth was to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (long story about how I was tricked into going -- too painful to go into that story; repression is our friend!) where I consumed massive amounts of gin and tonics, ignored most of the food, and tried to make the best of a bad situation. Isn't this great? I said to my then-beloved who replied, Not really. I can think of about ten places I'd rather be right now. He had also been tricked and had grown surly and resentful, retreating into a silence so loud that one couldn't help but hear only that. Making the best of a bad situation wasn't his thing. Well into my cups, I believe I said something like, You can be a real asshole and he replied, Yeah, and?

So here I am, contemplating all the things I'd like to be liberated from and can only think that they mostly exist in my own head, the very worst place for things to be. I won't be doing anything symbolic tomorrow, won't be ridding myself of any of my chains. For the first time in a long time, I'm happy where I am. Happy might be overstating it, of course. Let's not go crazy! But when the sky lights up with color, I'll watch from wherever I happen to be and if I can only hear what's going on from a distance, that'll be enough for me.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"My show is my statement. What I have to say is on the screen. My life is my own. I don't want to talk about my private self. Why should I?" Flip Wilson

Cocktail Hour
Drinking movie suggestion: Venus

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday!

14 comments:

Flip Wilson said...

The devil made me do it.

The Revisionist said...

I can't help thinking that the American revolutionaries were really out for themselves. What if they had just paid their taxes like everybody else? The 4th of July would be just a regular day.

Putin said...

It's beautiful in Maine this time of year.

Scooter Libby said...

Ain't life grand!

Charles Gramlich said...

I don't like the noise either and am not particularly enamored of fireworks displays. They're pretty but grow old fast. Fourth of July for me is a great day to curl up with a good book and listen to other folks blow their money up into the sky.

Evel Knievel said...

Deep down, I've always thought of myself as a kind of human firecracker on wheels. I wanted to make people think that I could explode at any minute! And then I didn't! Most of the time!

Dan said...

they mostly exist in my own head, the very worst place for things to be.

In many ways emotional chains are the toughest to escape, but in many other ways (and with focused attention), they are the easiest. Michelle, I had no idea that you were raped. :( That's tough. I could hardly concentrate on anything you said after that.

If you ever need a sympathetic ear, give me a shout. You can also IM me on Yahooo. Hugs!

the walking man said...

I will make my comment in private in an e-mail later maybe if i feel any freedom

Anonymous said...

I will curl up on the couch and watch the celebrations going on via the telly. One will be broadcast from DC and the other Boston. I do love to hear the 1812 overture loud tho it may be. And I love to see the fireworks from the safety of my home. I can watch with the sound off. Enjoy the 4th wherever you may be.

realbigwings said...

Silent fireworks are best. From a mountaintop they're quite nice.

eric313 said...

Hey, it's late. Just wanted to check in and say High from my own computer ffor once this week!

Your post was so sad and yet you always bring smiles with it to help temper the feelings your writing evokes. Loud noises are nobody's friend! So simple and funny--and it conveys that underlying dread and mornful loss.

Prayers will be with you and I hope you find at least a little peace. Take care

eric313 said...

I meant hi!
not high
no, I'm just tired.

at least I hope you got a laugh
from this silly adendum
that thinks
that somehow
it's a poem

and maybe

it is

I hope I'll be asleep
by the time I type
the tragic comparison
and smooth last line

Princess Pointful said...

I just found your blog through some random hopping, and this post just drew me in from the first line. Although it could be construed as sad, I like the element of hope and acceptance at the end.

And I just watched Venus last night- what a lovely quirky little film!

JR's Thumbprints said...

Michelle,
Another useless feature of The 4th of July, is having the day off midweek. I had originally planned on taking Thursday & Friday off as well, but with all the animosity generated from the Lansing State Journal, I decided to get caught up on my paper work at the prison. Hope your 4th is a quiet one. --Jim