Friday, January 7, 2011


I never liked the little fireworks you get at fireworks stands on July 4 holiday. I got them because that’s what I was supposed to do because I was a boy but I never liked them. We would actually buy ours from a small stand just on the edge of Claremore on Hiway 20. The guy that ran the stand was blind. That always intrigued me and made it special. Fireworks were loud. I didn’t like loud. My parents yelled at each other a lot when I was a kid. Screamed. Really bad things. I don’t know exactly what I just know it was bad. And Ioud. I used to lay in my room and listen and try to get the will to go tell them to stop but I never could so I just lay there unable to move. Quiet. Alone. I have a memory that I told them to stop once but am sure it was just a dream or a wish that was imprinted in my brain as an experience that really happened. I accept loud from things that are supposed to be loud. Race cars. Motorcycles. Airplanes. But not parents and for whatever reason, not fireworks. Loud voices set me off. If someone raises their voice to me it completely shuts me down. I retreat back under the blanket. By myself. Trying to will it stop but never ever being able to do it. I hate fireworks. People fireworks most of all.

My wife NeCole once blew me up with a firework. We were probably 14 at the time. She blew me up with bottle rocket to be exact. They are little rockets on the end of a stick that fly into the air and then explode. They are pretty much banned everywhere now because they set a lot of houses on fire. We were sitting in chairs on the edge of a river lighting bottle rockets in our hand and then tossing them so they would shoot across the water or into it and then explode with a muffled thump and a fist sized flash of light. Even though I didn’t like fireworks, it was fun because she was there and I had to show off for her. Sometimes you gotta man up if you want to get the girl. Bottle rockets were notorious for poor quality control as they were mass produced by the millions. Sometimes the fuses would burn really fast and the firework would take off before you were ready. She held one in her hand, lit it and then prepared to toss it. Only it didn’t make it that far. It blew up before she could toss it. It blew up right in front of my face. She didn’t’ mean to. I didn’t hate her for it. But I’m sure it triggered all sorts of bad memories. Because I was with my girlfriend I’m sure I kept my cool and laughed it away but on the inside I had to be spinning out of control. As an adult I still loathe small fireworks and I refuse to participate. I will watch the big commercial fireworks shows but I try to avoid the little ones or at least keep some distance away. To me they still don’t go bang. They scream. Only now they sound like little kids yelling STOP IT as loud as they can. But its only in their head that they scream so nobody ever hears. Nobody ever hears their screams. Nobody ever heard mine.

1 comment:

  1. i never had trouble with loud noises, but i certainly, to this day, have trouble with people yelling at each other. There was always so much of it when i was growing up, and it was always scary, and a lot of times people yelling at each other turned into people getting violent somehow.
    i don't like it.

    one day at school this term, one of the students started arguing with the teacher. they were yelling at each other. and the next thing i knew, i was shaking violently and crying and couldn't seem to catch my breath. my teacher was nice enough afterwards to let me leave class for a few minutes to get some fresh air and calm myself down.
    but it really shook me.