This last week had one of my favorite holidays. I love the fourth of July. I can feel the electricity of the day as it builds to the end for the climax of expended fireworks with everyone oohing and ahhing. Who doesn’t like fireworks? I know it’s my children’s favorite. I think they love the boom and bang of the stuff more than the beauty of all explosions in the air. Personally, I like the colors and patterns more than the bang. I am a Field Artilleryman. I love a good, loud boom, the kind you can feel in your chest, but such is an occupational hazard – after living with artillery — fireworks are dimmed.

Of course, the nighttime display is only meant to represent the Revolutionary War. In that respect, it shines bright.

Anyway, the Fourth of July is always a special day. I sat outside with the kids, watching the sky for the colorful explosions while swatting mosquitoes. The kids ran around like heathens, zipping every which way, doing what kids always do when let loose. I think they make more noise than the explosions. There was no need to have them be quiet (we live in the country)and everyone was happy.

All of us had fun with the zinging and popping, then we looked to the sky and watched fireworks. Oh, there was a small typo in that last sentence – pooping, not popping. What can a person do? I’d rather smell spent gunpowder than excrement, but life goes on.

The twins tired of the show about the time I did and we retired to the living room where the true spectacle of the Macy’s fireworks filled the television screen. Ah, the life of a kid is one of the extremes. One minute running and jumping with joy outside, the next quiet and subdued.

I think every kid can change their mood while spinning on a gnat’s ass. They proclaim hate for their siblings just seconds after spontaneous hugs and kisses. They embody gusto and fun. Maybe I should change that to – they embody the outward display of gusto and fun. When you reach my age, your gusto and fun rush around on the inside. Not all the time, but a significant percentage of the time. I can hum to myself, have a virtual party inside, even have fun without smiling.

How about satisfaction?

That’s tricky. I can be satisfied in one sense, say, when I finish a novel, but not in another sense, like how I can let that novel sit for a brief span of time, pick it up and voila! I don’t like it at all. I mean what the hell happened? Let’s not confuse this with one of my readers who gets satisfaction every time they read my book.

I feel satisfied every time I read The Count of Monte Cristo. It’s one of my favorite books.

So, how can the same word describe all of those feelings? It doesn’t matter. We can just accept that it does.

Do you know what I really like to do? I love dredging up things, writing them down, and mixing them up until they take on different meanings, sometimes dramatic, sometimes clever. What makes it so delightful to me is that it at times results in pure, unadulterated, horseshit. The sum of all the hard skull-work may be the result of nothing in, is nothing out.

So how are all the different worlds created inside of books? Is everyone a genius? Was Mozart a genius? Of course, he was, but that doesn’t mean that everyone that writes is a virtuoso of words.

What happens is enormous sweat and toil (no not in the bedroom) although that may help with creativity. The work happens everywhere, at times with a pencil, other times with a computer. I mean everywhere, while driving, maybe swimming, even while lovemaking; sometimes greater things happen if you don’t keep your mind on what you are doing. Perhaps the only time ever that wives refrain from complaining about their hubbies not paying attention. Such is life.

My wife thinks, uh, I don’t know. Since I need hearing aids, I’m sure she blames my not reacting to her words on my bum ears. Even before my hearing went south, though, she complained that I never pay attention. That is in fact wrong. Some of those times the voice in my head was saying, “I have to remember what she’s saying … I have to remember what she’s saying … I have to remember what –

Unfortunately, all I remembered was that I had to remember what she said. So even when I tried to soak in what she’d uttered, the evil winds of whatever wouldn’t let me. Maybe I should say someone shuffled the cards and took one or two away, so it wouldn’t be in the cards. I don’t know. It’s a conspiracy. The Universe simply does not allow husbands to listen to everything wives say. I’m sorry.

I do tell my wife I’m sorry a lot. Usually, I try to time it so that it coincides with when she is totally absorbed in her favorite television show. That way I can just smile to myself because I know she doesn’t hear me. Wait, maybe she does. I know she can think of several different things at the same time.

I worked my way through college in a restaurant and one day during that time I watched five women come into the restaurant. They sat down and talked the entire time they were there. I will never forget them, because they all talked about different things, and answered each other when called upon to do so. Not one time did any of them lose their place in any one of the five conversations. Damnedest thing I ever saw. All I know is, I wouldn’t want to get in an argument with any of them. They would be pulling shit out of the past with the greatest of ease and I would just have to stand there and slump my shoulders and shuffle away when they were finished.

Did any of you remember to drop by Smashwords.com and check out the book sale? Remember it lasts for the entire month of July. Just click on the link below and see that fantastic thriller of mine, and for less than two dollars to boot. you wont regret it.

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