The Uphill Slide

There is always something.

Report for Independence Day


Lazy day. Recovering from a late night viewing of Wonder Woman. I want to be her or any of those Amazons. Not beauty! Not sex! Ferocity! Be all you can be! Push yourself!

Grandson off to a pool birthday party for his fabulous napless day. Home to get ready for fireworks at Point State Park. Was he going to make it without falling asleep? You could almost feel the heaviness of his eyelids though he denied it. Always deny! is his motto.

I rode the bus while Cary and her boyfriend got ready. I texted locations of parking spots. Free on the street. I got off the 88 and walked to Market Square. I was early so a drink at Revel and Roost with a bowl of shrimp and grits while I waited. A woman walked by on the street patriotically singing of love for this country.

Cary parked in the Strip and walked. “Where are you?” she texted. “Having a drink.” “I’ll text you and try to find you.”

They were sitting in the grass close to the walkway leading to the fountain beside the Channel 11 news truck. Easy find. Kevin was missing. Gone 45 minutes on a mission for funnel cake. And his phone was dead. I walked around. Somebody set off fireworks and the police and park rangers pushed past me in search of one person in the midst of thousands. The best seats in the house were again on boats in the river waters. Tour boat size and yacht size and canoe size side by side in the Monongahela and Allegheny meeting the Ohio. People with kids and people with dogs and people on bikes and babies in strollers. People who brought their own chairs. Thousands lining the seats and benches and circling the fountain. Standing on the walks and sitting on the grass. People across the water at Heinz Field unseen in the dimming light.

Kevin returned with funnel cake in time for fireworks. He bought his and one for a girl in line who reached the end only to find they didn’t take cards. “We’ve been in this together,” he said.

I plopped down on the ground. We were sitting in the first waves of the music. The Star Spangled Banner (not this version) played. People in front were already standing. Many remained sitting. Red sky at night. And green, and gold and silver and white. The sky lit with explosions of balls of fire and sparkling lights and eruptions of twinkling and falling embers.  Music and fireworks at this end of Pittsburgh as necklaces blinked and swords and kids toys lit up with red, white and blue. Caleb awake to the end and finally gave up denial in the stroller walk back to the car.


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