Monday, July 4, 2011

Rockets' Red Glare

For a half dozen years my social life in LA orbited around two spheres, Venice and Hollywood.  I was part of a  finely intertwined web of lovely, communal entanglements.  Friends of friends connected by previous lives in other urban cities, past collegiate experiences, or current work situations.  We morphed, multiplied and saw each other frequently at backyard BBQs, birthday celebrations, and traditional holiday feasts.  We lived on the west side in Venice or the east side in Hollywood, rarely in between.  I never questioned if it would last, until one day I realized the weekend drives to Venice were becoming more and more infrequent.  Change was inevitable as we moved on to other relationships, cities, and responsibilities.  My friend Ship's visit from AZ prompted a 4th of July reunion among friends I admittedly mainly see on facebook.  The beautifully landscaped Venice backyard, boasting beds of lush beets, broccoli and tomatoes, was teeming with kids aged 10 to 2.  Perched in a tree house, a gaggle of boys aimed their nerf guns at the adults below.  Neon orange and yellow arrows cascaded like snow flurries.  We played ping pong, hula hooped and laughed.   The faces familiar, and conversation easy, yet the passage of time stood like a white elephant in the corner.  My only regret, not taking my camera to document the festivities.  At 8:45 we departed, unwittingly the best  hour to catch the many fireworks displays in the city.  Pyrotechnics hissing overhead, this refrain lodged in my mind, "And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air".   

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