When you call yourself quirky, it’s really just a way of saying that you might have a few issues that are hopefully endearing. I know this because I call MYSELF quirky. One of my many issues is that I jump at big noises. There are lots of reasons for this. You could say a few traumatic things happened to me in childhood. OR maybe it was my brother hiding out in his treehouse with his BB gun, always on the lookout, possibly for me. Maybe it was the crazy girl down the block who wrapped up a ventriloquist dummy with rope and said that at night if I heard anything, it was probably because the dummy came alive and was coming for me. Or maybe it’s because I was in New York on 9/11 and that whole thing made me jumpy. Whatever. Pick your poison.
Usually, I handle all this really well. (At least I think I do; Kealoha just shrugs.) When there’s a thunderstorm, and if we’re asleep, I gasp awake, grab the covers and run down to the basement. Kealoha usually doesn’t even notice. He’s a very deep sleeper.
But. BUT. You can imagine that I might not be the best person to have with you during the 4th of July. Every time a firework goes off, I jump/scream, feel my heart thump against my rib cage, mutter an obscenity or two, and settle down just in time for another one to explode. When the crowd goes “Oooooh, Ahhhhhh, Oooooo” I go “Ugh! Eek! Muther fucker, really? REALLY? WHAT IS THE POINT OF EXPLODING THINGS? WHY IS THIS FUN? I FEEL LIKE A LITTLE MANNEQUIN IS SHOOTING AT ME WITH A BB GUN! ARRRRGGGGGHH!”
Ahem. Anyway. So.
The kids wanted Kealoha and I to take them to fireworks.
KEALOHA: It’ll be fun!
We went to the fireworks.
All evening as dusk slowly descended, I felt a boa constrictor wrapping around my chest. I should’ve brought wine. I should’ve taken an anti-anxiety pill. But I thought I’d be fine. If I could find some French fries, I could float away on the bliss of vinegar and oil and salt and deep-fried happiness. But the food trucks were not selling fries! No! They were only selling giant polish sausages, and I can’t eat that in public without feeling dirty.
Night fell. I was pretty sure I could see Sauron’s Eye flickering in the distance.
Then the explosions started, and thus I began: “Arh! Eek! FUhhhh….dge!”
Here is the rest of the scene:
MOXIE: Mommy screams a lot! I’m going to call that firework the Mommy Screams A Lot firework!
ME: Ach! Ohmygod. My heart! My HEART!
KEALOHA: That one looks like a fireball. I’m going to call that one Fireball!
KEALOHA, MOXIE, AND FRANZ: Ooooh, Ahhhh, Ooooo!
ME: Eek! Ow! NnoooOOoOO!
MOXIE: There’s Mommy Screams A Lot! That one’s my favorite! It makes Mommy jump.
FRANZ: That one looks like a pork chop!
KEALOHA: Pork chop? Huh. I think that one is my favorite.
ME: How. Long. Does. This. LAST?
At the finale, I’m pretty sure I passed out. When I came to, we gathered our stuff and walked with everyone else into the overcrowded parking ramp. By the time we got out an hour later, I’d calmed down remarkably. The kids want to go again next year.
I told them “We’ll see”.