“It Blowed Up Real Good!”

August 23, 2015 at 2:22 pm (On the road again..., Sweet sticky things)

I’ve been hating on fireworks for years. I guess it’s becoming my nature to be a cranky old man, due to time constraints and all, but I have good reasons for not liking 4th of July. I’m as patriotic as the next guy, I just don’t want to breathe chunks of air, or have my house burnt down.

So what did I do last night? Attend a fireworks display.

I had a rare Monday-through-Friday work week, and Saturday was all mine. Dr T’s new squeeze suggested we attend the free picnic celebrating the opening of the new Orange Line on the MAX Light Rail. It seemed a good excuse for a double-date. Rain is a good sport when it comes to things like this.

“You probably gonna get up and go in the morning, aren’t ya?” she’d asked the night before. True to form, I was out of bed and showered in fifteen minutes, ready to fly. I left her to get dressed and such. I’d done this before. I will have time to run downtown and back.

Walking to the MAX, I couldn’t believe how cloudy it was, except it wasn’t muggy, just warm. I looked at my smartass phone. 88 degrees, 26% humidity. Wait, that’s not overcast, that’s haze. Haze from smoke.

The air was burnt orange all day. I felt the tickle as I walked the path to and from transit. Rain was dressed in a white top and orange panties, which elicited a compliment or two. “Great way to show support!”

“They won’t be showing when we get there, babe.”

I got into the day, sipping medicated vitamin water. A friend had slipped me a couple morphine sulphate tabs for errands run, time to make it a holiday! Crushed under tongue for quicker absorption, I was cutting a rug while making plans for the evening.

Rain and I left the house about 8:15. Showtime was at nine. Hmm. I wouldn’t be upset if I missed the fireworks, but Rain seemed into it, and since she’d been busy getting dressed since 10 AM, it would be a shame not to show her off. We took the Hawthorne bus to the streetcar, and rode it (and its creepy shuttle) through the train yards to OMSI.

We wandered up the sidewalk, following groups of folks with lawn chairs. I came around a corner and found a perfect spot. I called Rain and told her where to find me.

Right next to the VIP seating.

OMSI doesn’t cater rock and roll type events much. The upper crust with their wine goblets and cushy lawn chairs paid us little mind as we stood next to the photographers. The barge with firefighting equipment was right in front of us, and as soon as we took our spot, the bottom of the new bridge burst into flames. Kinda. All sparks, like 10,000 car battery jumper cables connecting at once. Then shit just started blowin’ up.

We stayed for the whole twenty-minute spectacle. It made me grin big once or twice, and I couldn’t help thinking how much fun these things would be if people always had good wine, an unencumbered view, and a cushy-ass lawn chair. My fireworks experiences involved Milwaukie’s Best Ice, peeing in a jug, and asthma for days. None of that happened Saturday night.

We walked back from OMSI to downtown. Rain mentioned being hungry, and we were by Starbucks and McDonald’s. “Babe, get me a McDonald’s coffee? I want a carmel frappucino. They’re half as much as Starbucks.”

That sounded so good. “Let’s go.” I led her into the Downtown McD’s, which is home for 70% of the tweaker-junkies in downtown. A clump of twitchy types were awaiting orders. I slipped Rain a $5 and said, “You get ’em.”

She ordered, and the gal behind the counter said, “Sorry, our maching is busted.”

“Oh well..” Rain, usually more full of attitude, simply shrugged it off. I slipped the fiver from between her fingers, took her by the hand and led her to Starbucks. “Babe, you don’t have to do this–”

“I know, but I want one too.” I gave her two fives. “I’ll have what you’re having.”

We spent the next half-hour standing across from Pioneer Square, using a stainless steel garbage can as our al fresco dining table. We parted briefly, to meet at home for our second date of the day.

And how hot was that date? After a few English muffins with almond butter and marionberry jam, we slipped into quiet coma. Rain is still sleeping at 3:30 PM. I’m barely out of bed, work starts at 7 PM so I’m taking my time rolling out today.

With that sepia-toned sky, I’m in no hurry…


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