When I was a kid, I wanted a tree-house. I liked the idea of having a little place that was my own, high up, and floored in the cloth bound books I liked to read. I would hang tassels, I would paper with comics and pieces of sari. I wanted to tumble down the ladder in a rush of limbs to a mother waiting with ice-cream. I wanted what the real kids had, only to try. I could see them sometimes, transitory, from the window of the truck I was growing up in as we drove past little houses. Surrounded by trees, always on the highway, these houses, with a gas station at the end of the row that would sell cold things and packets of shrink wrapped pepperoni sticks that my father would open with his teeth. My favourite treat was the Cadbury cream eggs with shiny tinfoil that I would flatten with the back of my fingernail until I could pretend it was tain I’d peeled whole from some antique washroom mirror.
Have you ever been in love with someone to the point where you’re afraid? They meet your eyes and the amount of feeling that shoots in to your blood must betray you, it feels certain, but then they blink and look away. Disaster averted. It’s terrifying, like suddenly discovering you’ve got a red jewel of cancer in the palm of your heart.
The fireworks last night were nice. I led everyone directly to the waterfront, with nothing between us and the show but for water. Blooming explosions of mostly gold, laced with red and Italy’s particular green. Their music choice was a little damning, no match of Denmark’s Abba medley of last year, the cheesiest possible clips of Celine Dion, Queen, & Ennio Morricone, but they made up for it with the intense amount of bang.
After, though, was better than nice, it was magical. Police arrived on horses, with back-up from police boats and helicopters, to clear people from the beach. Horses in riot gear, to be more precise, with little see-thru plastic helmets and shiny reflective socks. Lit only by beacons and searchlights, they came out of the heavy sulpherous smoke like a slowly solidifying dream. It was impossible to focus on them, they were so ephemeral, such perfect phantasmagorical memories come real. They seemed both bigger and smaller than horses are, because they faded in and out of the flashing lights so strangely, so beautifully. The police on top seemed grown from the same dark flesh, details were so randomly precise. A leg would show in stark detail then vanish again into the sand and night. I’ve never seen anything like it. Pristine wonder, approaching.