Boom City

These are the only moments that have felt real in the last 72 hours. I spent the weekend in between three semi-trailers at the back of a fireworks wholesale stand. During the day these trailers provide the only spot of shade and relative quiet from the hordes of patriotic pyros that swarm Boom City every year. The city is a place of gravel, dust and cardboard stands that springs up once a year behind Tulalip Casino. Out here on the reservation many of the stand owners, licensed and unlicensed alike, sleep in their RVs after selling well into midnight anything and everything their patrons would buy. And I am not just speaking of fireworks.

I have always equated times like these to sitting at a greyhound bus station, waiting for a bus whose schedule I don’t know surrounded by people whom I don’t want to approach and can’t really talk to. Boom city is my bus station. And I find myself pacing.

Pacing because I am anxious for news from Mercy Hospital in San Diego. Pacing as I manically peel back the bubbles of paint rust has caused on the side of the trailers. Pacing as I hear that the blood that keeps seeping into his brain is at least not any worse than it was since the last CT scan. Pacing as I find myself replanting a small blade of grass that on one fibrous root has forced its way out from under the hot gravel parking lot to seek air and sky. Pacing because as I hear that although responding to physical stimulus he now hasn’t woken up for seven days. Pacing as I blow on a spider web, which works like a doorbell, so that its sea shell colored in habitant comes out to visit with me. Pacing because Jenn’s father is in the hospital and all I can do is hold down the fort.

I don’t remember the time in between the pacing. It is filled with the buzzing of negotiation and numbers being yelled out as fireworks are bought and sold wholesale. I imagine this is like a pyros wall street.

Today as my neighbors exchange salvos of roman candles, mortars and brightly colored artillery shells, the bus I am waiting for still has not come into the station. I wish I knew what its schedule was, I wish I knew that its passengers were okay.

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