(Unsent) Letter to a Beloved Young Man

Tonight, I sit at home with the windows cracked open to welcome a cool breeze and the sound of fireworks. The 4th of July is one of my fondest memories of you. I remember when Dad wanted to meet up with his friends, to do the same thing with the same people you had always done on the 4th, before I came along. Instead, the three of us stocked up on fireworks at the Red Rocket and spent the evening alone together, shooting them off. You were so creative, staging entire war scenes with your little green Army men, lighting the firecrackers on platforms of cardboard amongst the rubble of tanks. You used my juniper incense from Nepal to light a fireworks display for us – I recall Mama Mia being one of the varieties we were particularly fond of. Buddy Boy was spooked from the sounds, so we let him inside. After the show, we went in to watch the evening news and all you could do was talk about how awesome the fireworks were. “You know what was so special about the fireworks tonight? We were the only three people in the whole world who saw them,” you said, as Dad shushed you so he could listen to the television news. My heart melted and I fell a little more in love with you that night. Continue reading