Friday, May 7, 2010

3. Fire Works

We were all gathered on my roof, staring out over Manhattan waiting for the Hudson River fireworks to kick off. We weren't sure exactly what we'd see from Brooklyn, but we were hoping for a kick-ass show. I was standing on a chair, my balcony railing about knee level. My head was buzzing from the two hours of drinking games we'd just wrapped up, and my lips were feeling numb. I smacked them together and felt a tingle move from my lips to my ears. That's when I know I'm drunk. My lips are the first to go. I looked behind me and saw everyone waiting patiently, the same buzzed expressions on their faces. Someone had killed the music so we could hear the first of the fireworks. Then I looked to my right and saw gatherings on every other rooftop in sight. I lifted my drink in cheers and saw multiple Solo cups move skyward from rooftops nearby. Who said New Yorkers weren't friendly?
I heard a pop and whipped my head to horizon to see if the fireworks had started. Too fast. I lost my balance and nearly toppled off the chair. A hand on my leg steadied me. Jon's hand.
"Are you OK?"
His little-boy face full of concern.
"A-OK, man! Good lookin' out."
Jon rarely drank, so he assumed people got wasted off a few beers. Little did he know I had once woken up after a house party wearing nothing but my bathing suit with no recollection of going to the hot tub. I was far from that point.
Cayden never showed. All night I had my eye on the stairway door, hoping he'd walk through it. Not likely, being that he told me he was going to the river. Oh, and then there was the whole he-thought-I-was-blowing-him-off thing.
"Hey, what's that?" Lea pointed toward the Hudson.
A big black cloud was billowing over what looked like Midtown.
"Is that a fire?"
My alcohol-buzzed brain jumped ahead to worst-case scenario: The barges holding the fireworks self detonated. Manhattan was on fire. The black cloud was going to take over Brooklyn. I should have been concerned about a lot of things, but the first thing on my mind was Cayden. Cayden was by the river. I clenched my Solo cup until the top rim cracked and warm beer splashed up in my face.
We all stood there staring as the black cloud grew bigger and bigger. I could see flames as the bottom of the cloud. That's when I realized the flames were coming from a building, not a barge. A building in Brooklyn.
"Someone better get that fire under control or it will block our whole view of the fireworks!" This from Lynn.
Fire truck sirens bounced off the buildings and drifted up to our roof. This wasn't exactly the Fourth of July I imagined.
Everyone started complaining. The fireworks better start soon, or this could turn into a black-out-in-a-bathing-suit kind of night.
As if on cue, a big, red firework lit up the sky, followed by another, and another. The entire horizon lit up in multi-colored sparkles. It was absolutely beautiful. I counted eight launching sites, stretching from what looked like SoHo to the Upper West Side. Everyone went silent. Jaws dropped. We ooooed, we awwed, we gasped. The actual sound of the explosions didn't reach our ears until a full four seconds after each color burst lit up the sky, leaving smoky streaks behind.
I bet it looked even better from where Cayden was standing.

1 comment:

  1. Great detail! I felt like I was there. Which is perfect, considering my own life is boring. I'm going to go buy a Slap Chop now...