Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Last year, the Fourth of July was the first and only time I actually saw the fireworks on Navy Pier. Every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday since June, I'd heard the fireworks, and for almost all of June, I grudgingly admit, I thought the noise was someone hauling lumber or moving heavy furniture in the apartment above me. I guess it just didn't occur to me that nobody waits 'til dark to haul lumber, and nobody only hauls lumber on select days of the week. Oh yeah, and nobody has any need for lumber in a 34th floor, 600-square foot studio in a downtown Chicago high rise. But my stupidity is not the point here.

I finally looked out the window when the ruckus started - as usual - at 10 on the nose one Wednesday. I craned my neck to see if there were any construction crews on Ohio. Nothing. I pressed my forehead against the glass and looked down to see if my neighbors were throwing some kind of elaborate tri-weekly lumber-hauling party on our building's sun deck. Yeah, not so much.

Then I looked straight ahead, at the reflective glass of the Holiday Inn. Aha! Reflections of fireworks! Everything fell into place, and I started making a point of opening my blinds and watching the reflections (behind my switched-on TV, of course) every night there was a fireworks show. And once I found out what was making that confounded racket, the noise didn't bother me nearly as much as it did when I thought it was just crazy kids (because, you know, I'm like a hundred).

When I heard - but didn't see - Dallas' fireworks this year, I got a little pouty. I looked out my window in the direction of downtown to see if I could see anything, but there was a freakin' generator building in my way. Dammit! No reflective glass, no three-star hotel with pulsating neon sign, no sun deck 33 floors below. Just an annoying muted thump every minute or so. Might as well have been someone doing some after-hours lumber-hauling. Hmph!

So... yeah. I guess I'm still a little pouty.