Saturday, July 04, 2009

It's Still Raining

It's raining outside. It started around lunchtime, and there's been a constant heavy drizzle since then. Just enough keep people from their parades and picnics.

I talked with Mom on the phone earlier today. It was the first time she'd talked about my brother without mentioning that, "Oh, by the way, he still doesn't have a job," in a couple months. Though she did point out he could be using money they spent on paint for the living room to buy a couple more meals.

Mom also casually mentioned that Dad had just turned 60. Somehow, I managed to completely forget his birthday this year; I didn't even remember to call him. I also didn't do much for Mom's birthday back in February. Or Mother's Day. Or Father's Day.

It's still raining.

I came home from work Thursday to see a house just up the street with its entire contents on the front lawn. A U-Haul appeared an hour later, and most of it was taken away. The fourteen-year-old daughter remained sitting on a couch in the yard, guarding what remained until the U-Haul reappeared a couple hours later. The house's contents have been replaced with a sign citing a foreclosure auction later this month.

I'd planned on taking my dog for an early walk today. He isn't too bothered by firecrackers and fireworks if he's inside, but he gets pretty anxious if he's outside while they're going off. I figured going earlier in the day would mean there wouldn't be as many people shooting stuff off. Doesn't look like we'll get our walk in today at this point.

It's still raining.

But you know, I'm inside my own house. I have a secure job, but I don't have anywhere I have to be this weekend. I was sitting by the window earlier, reading Palestine. I can spend time logging comics into my database. My dog is comfortable. And while she's not here right now, I've got a beautiful girlfriend out there who loves me.

I had intended to write some diatribe today on how I don't fully understand patriotism and, as a consequence, I don't really understand patriotic comic book heroes like Captain America or the Shield. But it would have inevitably pissed somebody off, and there's too much crap going on in the world today to intentionally rain on someone else's parade.

It's still raining.

But I can hear people enjoying their picnics indoors with their doors and windows open. I can hear people lighting firecrackers, presumably from in their garages or under umbrellas. Presumably, they spent less money this year on fireworks and grilling supplies, thanks to the economy. (My girlfriend cited that the U.S. savings rate has gone from negative numbers to 6% in less than a year!) The country is in too lousy a shape to not let people celebrate whatever they can. There are enough forces trying to dampen their spirits, and who am I to add to that? Just because I can't afford to celebrate and don't feel the emotional need to doesn't mean I should spit on others' emotional releases.

Happy Independence Day, Americans.

1 comment:

Brigid said...

This is a lovely piece, Sean. I share your sentiments, but like you, I figure it's better to just let people have their fun. I wish more people could just sit back and let things be, without turning the smallest thing into a crusade. LIke the total strangers who snap "Merry CHRISTMAS" at me when I wish them a happy holiday, turning a greeting into a snarl.