Steven and I spent the fourth at his parent's place in Barrington, RI, which is just off Narragansett Bay; the end of the night was a special treat: watching the fireworks going off in each of the coastal towns ringing the bay, from Newport, to Bristol to Barrington, to Pawtuxet to Warwick, to East Greenwich and Kingston beyond.
I hate fireworks. They're noisy and I can't wrap my head around the idea of buying something just to burn it. However, I must say it was stunning, the rippling black water and all of these sedate little towns bursting into flames, noiselessly, distant and abstract. It was one of the prettiest things I've ever seen.
And it occurred to me that glimmering as they did, washed, distorted and reflected in the inky black of the bay, all of these towns on fire created a flame stitch in the water.
Patriotism is tough for me to swallow. The aftertaste is too extreme, the undercurrent too dangerous, and my anecdotal understanding of history has taught me how ephemeral great nations, The Greatest Nations!, are.
How perfectly the broken pattern, dissolving into nothing, illustrated my thoughts on the day and our admittedly glorious nation: Here lies one whose name was writ in water.
But my it was pretty, wasn't it, while it lasted?