That’s What’s Up

It’s a Sunday summer night and some things need describing. Japan’s fireworks at the Celebration of Light, for example.

The fireworks went off over the heads of hundreds of thousands of people, except for the opening volley. That lit up the sky just above the barge. A lot of people stood up to capture the moment with iPads, which led others sitting behind them to shout Sit Down. It was hard to judge the effect of the shouting. The moment was certainly captured. 

I didn’t have an iPad, but I remember that a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time had given me a chicken wing. It was delicious. We were discussing how to define character – and the extent to which people can change – with another friend. I remember also that my butt hurt because I’d been sitting in the same position for too long and there wasn’t much room to move. Then the show began, someone started playing the soundtrack, and I noticed how much the day had cooled. 

Team Japan did not let the moment stand alone. The whole show was spectacular. I had forgotten details of the Celebration: that distinctive whoomph … whoomph … of the guns firing the next salvo. Or the silences lasting just as long as the faint orange tails behind the biggest rockets. Or the physical impact of the explosions. Sensory extravagance is what it was, blast after blast. There will be a poem, because I’d like a heart beat with that kind of oomph. “Boom. That’s what’s up,” a person with such a heart beat would say. 

 

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