Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Fourth. And Beyond.

Fourth of July has never been a big day in my family. The ritual to the 4th (it seems like all holidays have a level of ritualism to them) seems to be just as much concerned with laziness as anything else. Sleep in, have a late breakfast, walk down to the city street fair with Lisa - which involves the purchase of Guatemalan friendship bracelets and silly junk that only seems like a good idea before you've bought it, the eating of something either a)fried or b)ice cream and making a mess of eating it, and lastly, complaining about the heat. The rest of the afternoon is usually spent enjoying the Twilight Zone Marathon (which, to my dismay, was canceled last year. Still not sure if it will be back) either with Lisa or my sister. The fireworks are enjoyed casually and without pretense with the family. The event is always viewed with a certain level of nonsense - over exaggerating the "oohs" and "ahhs", and commenting on the often unpredictable fireworks show itself. Something technical always seems to go wrong.

Despite all of this, there is always a feeling of reverence lingering in the back of my mind. Whether it's a result of the day's significance, routine drilled into my head over 19 years, or just an excuse to not feel guilty for being lazy, is hard to say. But I'm not ignorant. I know that as I grow older, and move forward or sideways or whatever direction I'm going, holiday rituals like this begin to run out. I'll have to make my own days and my own rituals, and that's not at all exciting, but it does make this weekend all the more important.

Then again, each day has just as much potential to be as important as the day before it - holiday or not. Ever sense I was little, I've subconsciously done this thing on holidays, where I say to myself, "Wow, this is (Holiday). I've waited a whole year for it and now it's here". When really, I should be saying, "Wow, today has never happened before. I've been waiting my whole life for it, and now it's here".

Today is the 2nd of July, in my 19th year. It's the only one I'll ever get, and it's here.

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