On Sunday, I revealed a frightening memory from my past that explains why I have a bit of an issue with fireworks.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the way they look in the evening sky. I’ve got dozens of pins of Fourth of July fireworks on my Pinterest board. Such beautiful colors, often shown behind national monuments that really tug at our patriotic heartstrings… what’s not to love?
I’m totally fine with fireworks when they are in photographs and on the TV. Some years, I’m even able to sit on my porch and watch the Bangor display beautifully light up the Independence Day sky.
When they get too close, though, and sound like they are going off in my backyard, that is when things gets a little strange for me.
I know the Fourth of July is coming every year. It’s literally on my calendar. However, I’m never quite prepared for my reaction once the neighborhood turns into what I can only imagine a war zone sounds like.
I got a little taste on Friday night when someone set off the rockets’ red glare and the bombs bursting in air a block or two away from The House on the Hill. However, the Fates were looking out for me because shortly after the assault began on my eardrums, the skies opened and a torrential downpour prevented anymore fuses from being lit.
That cacophony of chaos coming from so close to where I was sitting, set off a chain reaction of panic. I rushed into the house and quickly closed all the windows.
It was probably the hottest night of the year, and I don’t have any air conditioning, but I really didn’t care. I have this irrational fear that a wayward explosive is going to fly through an open window and start a fire.
So I was prepared to sweat it out until the silence returned.
The cats were already on edge from all the sudden, unexpected noise, and I’m sure it didn’t help their psyches any to see me running around like a chicken with its head cut off and an M-80 shoved down into its neck.
I tried to settle myself by turning the TV up loud and eating some apple pie. That was when my significant other called. Nothing is manlier, Modern Philosophers, than having to admit to the woman you adore that you are having a panic attack and cannot breathe because people are setting off fireworks next to the house and out in the street.
Since she understands the reason for my Fourth of July PTSD, she did everything in her power to settle me down from another continent. Her voice, which usually soothes me, was drowned out by the sound of the explosions…from both the fireworks and the out of control pounding of my heart.
If I were smaller, I would have crawled under the couch with the cats, but I don’t think they would have allowed me into their hideout. How ungrateful!
I’ve never had fireworks set me off so wildly, and I think the surprise of my reaction only added to my panic attack. I probably could have handled the Bangor show because I was aware that those explosives were being overseen by professionals, and they were so far away that there was no chance any stray charges were going to invade my personal space.
I was worried because of the morons out on the street. I didn’t trust them to have any idea of what they were doing. I kept waiting for something burning to land on my property.
All I could think about was the infamous Fourth of July fire that happened on the block behind me in Brooklyn. People burned to death in their sleep because a wayward firework landed under their house and set it afire.
I freaked the Hell out last night, Modern Philosophers. It was not a pretty sight and it made me realize that I need to have a plan in place for next year.
Next Fourth of July, though, I’m going to have her lock me in the cellar with a pair of noise cancelling headphones. Or something extreme like that.
I have my own Big Bang Theory, Modern Philosophers, and it is that fireworks and I most certainly do not mix.
What about you, Modern Philosophers? Do fireworks unnerve you? Would you prefer it if your drunk neighbors didn’t set them off so close to your house? Am I being a little too weird even for me?
I’ll let you follow me on Pinterest if you promise not to bring any fireworks with you..