It’s the First of July

It’s the first of July, the
start of the Fourth of July
celebration. There is much
energy in the air, people
shopping for beer, getting
the boat ready, picnics. I
sit and think about the
dissipation of that energy
and enthusiasm over the
evolution of a short period
of time — too much sun, too
much beer, too much good
cheer, boiling and broiling
irritation at the neighbor’s
boorish political opinions
while said neighbor pontifi-
cates while standing over
the grill looking down at
what the man thinks could
pass for the neighbor’s
relatives — hot dogs, re-
trieving the boat from the
water in a dense, head fog,
fights between husbands and
wives about the best way to
run the boat up on the trailer
without carving a slice of
fiberglass while children
sit in the backseat glued
to their phones. My wife and
I decide to go for a jog at
a quiet, seldom used trail,
hunker down, play it safe,
lie low with the chocolate
lab and shudder at the thought
of all those people on the
road back to Chicago.

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