28 December 2003

Fire Play

I treated myself with Catch-22, Pesto, Four Seasons and Fire in the Sky.

Straight from a mediocre day at work, I hung at the Town Center to wait for the fireworks display at 7:00 pm. I came there at 5:30 and went to PowerBooks to engage myself in book-hunting; and the gold I found was Joseph Heller's Catch-22. I'd been wanting to read this book for four years already and it was just a while ago that I took possession of it. Scouting the bountiful bookstore took much time, but it seemed to have flown so fast as I clearly immersed myself in the wanderland of words.

After the book-hunt, I went to Seattle's Best to taste their new fruit juice concoction. The Four Seasons wasn't disappointing. I finished my snack then checked my watch: 6:30 pm. Time slowed down.

I stood from my chair and readied myself to leave. Passing by the town plaza hallway, I saw the pack of people at the center of the square. I was wondering if there was a concert ahead, or other performances. I asked someone what the fuzz was all about and he mentioned the fireworks. Without thinking, I sat on the bench and stilled myself for a while. I browsed through my new book, and what do you know, it's a few minutes before seven.

And then it was 7:00 pm. An announcer introduced the fireworks display and a number of firecrackers were set ablaze. I was amazed by the unabashed display of excitement of the crowd. They were wowing from the onset of the sky show.

In my view, the sky wasn't a clear slate. There was a tall tree at the forefront and so there were leaves and some branches overlapping the display of fire play.

Marguerite Yourcenar tells of the stars' light that often only astonishes and enlightens, but doesn't warm. I didn't find any enlightenment by the dazzling and distant lights I just witnessed, but I was absolutely indulged in delight. I was spoiled by the fancy display of fire. More than anything else, I felt a strange warmth. A strange relief. I figured it was sourced from the oohs and ahhs of the people around me. I was one with them in that minute and minor pleasure. My bones softened at the sight of colors fusing, with cold and black as their backdrop--with people with different businesses to mind afterwards. I felt that no one among us there--at that moment--was shallow. Euphoria is difficult to quantify. Pleasure is in itself its purpose.

At that point when I realized I was enjoying myself, I looked at my watch to see the time and hoped that there were still more to come. Like with all good things, I became afraid of the fireworks display's conclusion. Like many good things, it was for free. My watch read 7:04. Fast. Fast gone as the embers erased by air, immediately after the fire. After the light.

The warmth lingers. And that is why I am writing this. To extend its life.

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