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2012-07-05 4:22 PM
Taking the Fifth
The Fourth of July and Halloween are my two least favorite holidays, for entirely different reasons. And they produce two opposite behaviors. On Halloween I turn out all the lights, inside the house and out, to give the illusion that no one is home, in the hope of keeping children and other miscreants away. On Independence Day, I light up the place like a movie premiere, hoping that people who need darkness to ignite their illegal fireworks will move on and find somewhere else to do it.
And this year it worked, to the extent that no one lit any fireworks anywhere near my house. As far as I know, at least.
So I spent the holiday enjoying my freedom and ignoring the hoopla. Actually, I was enjoying my freedom to ignore the hoopla, which in general I do not much enjoy. I don't mind if other people enjoy the hoopla, as long as I don't have to be included. Which, for the most part, I'm not. I spent the day reading, and listening to music, and watching movies, along with ignoring not just the hoopla but also the news.
It's not as easy to be a sanguine patriot as it used to be, when we were young and sheltered from harsh realities and grim facts. It was a simpler world back then mostly because we were shown only a tiny part of it, and we were content with that. Now we see the whole world, macro and micro, every day, and while there is still beauty, there is also ugliness. Many ugly things are done in the name of high ideals that don't seem as high when you look at what's done in their name.
Knowing that I have blessings not afforded to most of the world, makes it easier to cherish them, but harder to celebrate them. And I prefer to do the cherishing and celebrating on my own, in my own way.
Today I got up with the best of intentions, but I never made it out of the house. The work on South Wright Road, which separates me from the Roseland Post Office, has been going on for more than three weeks. The flashing sign said to use alternate routes from 6/13 through 7/1. You'd think that meant it would be completed by now, wouldn't you? But they still haven't finished the rough edges or painted the striping, and I'm still taking the long way around to avoid the delays. Some days, like today, it doesn't seem worth it.
Tomorrow I'll try again. Maybe they finished the road work today. Or maybe they're taking a longer holiday weekend than the rest of us. I guess I'll find out.
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