Sunday, July 7, 2019


Among the many magnificent tableaus of the Ocean's movies there is a typically brilliant one in which Basher, the team's demolitions expert, is sitting watching TV in a luxurious hotel room in Las Vegas. Behind him, out the large, upper story windows, an old multi-story building is being demolished with explosives. He watches the event happen on his television, apparently oblivious, with his back turned to the perfect and real view of the spectacle behind him.

Where we live we have a clear and excellent view too! And so I was much looking forward to our first Fourth of July here.

It came early.

On July third the golf course hosted some sort of big annual outdoor picnic. I came home from work to see it still plugging along below us. It looked like there might be fireworks.

There were fireworks! They were really good, really long, really expensive fireworks. And from the privacy of our apartment we had an astonishingly close and perfect view. Neither of us has ever enjoyed fireworks so completely. It was an amazing treat.

And so July Fourth itself became more of a curiosity.

The real Independence Day fireworks started around 9:30 on Thursday night. It was still pretty light out, but I guess people were keen to get going. Three different locations out on the horizon, fronting the skyline, were running steady shows. There soon were occasional sporadic bursts climbing out of the trees of the Minneapolis neighborhoods. Some people had clearly climbed down to the river to shoot stuff off from the shore out towards the St. Paul side. Over the hill in St. Paul another slow show began as it got darker. At any given moment, in the distance and sometimes nearer, I could see three or five explosions flowering the sky or in among some trees.

It wasn't that long though before it all stopped being that interesting. So we put our TV screen up against our window, where our couch faces, and we watched a movie. 

Only ever so rarely were we distracted by the dazzling displays carrying on in the background of our screen. Instead we sat peacefully among the explosions, watching instead a movie we'd already seen a dozen times before.

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