Tuesday, September 11, 2007


July was in full force, hot and sticky. The air was so thick that you could cut it with a knife. The sun was starting to go down a little, reliving the girls from the hot sun they had all day been exposed to. They reunited that day, all together again in their hometown they love so much; Lovettsville, the town the begins with love. Molly had been there all summer, bating traps and setting up motion activated cameras to capture wildlife. Beth was also working, but back at her school, then in New York; art was what kept her away. Kelsey was also in a city, playing the part of the lowly intern, getting coffee, doing mindless work for people she did not entirely like. The last, Ria, had also been away, but not in one place. She had been all over the place that summer, her favorite and most exciting destination being Rome where she had gone with her grandparents and brother. They all had stories to tell of their summers and the conversation never lulled. Together again, even if it was only for that night, was the best ending to the summer any of them could imagine.
Beth, the artist, brought up what day it was. The third of July was one of their favorite days in their little town. That morning they had gone to the Independence Day parade and now had pockets full of old candy as if they were in elementary school again. However, when the sun went down was when the real fun began.

Beth led the way, they all knew where they were going but she was the best guide. They walked through town passing various landmarks along the way. They went by the Elementary school where they had all meet, then the Sears Mansion they were still convinced was haunted. The sun was going down, and Beth was starting to get restless. She kept saying “come on, walk faster, we are going to miss it!” and would speed up out of no where. They did not know exactly why she wanted to go to the exact spot they were going to, and she would not explain. Molly was riding circles around them on her bike, her new passion. She would go further up the street, then circle back and go slow, leaving but always coming back. Kelsey was telling a story about her internship and the time her boss made her go move his car and then get them all coffee. Ria laughs, but is really wondering what Beth has up her sleeves.

They get to the community center and Beth starts to run, the other three struggling to catch up. She goes to the tree line behind the tennis courts and the baseball diamond and starts blindly pushing her way through. At this point it is almost totally dark, and already dark to not be able to see what they are stepping in or through. The girls helped each other move branches and to see dangerous stops to steep, lit only by the faint glow of cell phones. There girls are from the country, so they are not afraid to get a little scratched up. With one last step over the old rusty barbed wire fence, they were in the field, and Beth started to run again.

Molly had to abandon her bike behind one of the dugouts, with a promise to return for it. Kelsey takes one step in the dark field and steps in a hole, putting her far behind the other three running girls. Beth is in the lead, then Molly close behind, then Ria. Ria, after a while, can only see the faint glow of Beth’s cell phone far ahead of her. She can hear Beth and Molly laughing and saying “further further!” up ahead, and Kelsey behind her calling for them to wait up. The grass in the field had yet to be hayed, so it came all the way up to their waists in some places. Funning through tall grass is exhKelseyg, and after a few moments of running, all the girls were drenched in sweat. It started to drizzle on them. The clouds that earlier in the day had been most welcoming were now very annoying. The cool rain mixed with the muggy air actually cooled them off after a while, so they could not complain. Mother Nature was looking out for them.

Finally they get to the top. It is better up here, they are surrounded by hay bails and the grass is significantly shorter. They stand up their, on the top of a hill, and look toward their town. Beth looks very proud of herself. The other three had forgotten what day it was until the first explosion. Right in front of them, a huge ball of red and orange exploded in the sky, followed by a band that echoed all around them. Fireworks, on the third of July, this is how it’s done in Lovettsville. They have the best seats in the house. They are far enough away that they can see them from the best angle, and close enough to still be able to hear the soft cheers from the crowed back at the community center after each burst.

That’s when the others started. As if cued off by the Lovettsville fireworks, other all around them started to go off. Behind them, across the far away river they could see the fireworks from Brunswick, the closest town in the next state. To their left and right were others from random peoples back yards, little in comparison, but still quite impressive. Two more towns on their left and right started setting theirs off as well, they were surrounded. They had three hundred and sixty degrees of fireworks to enjoy; everywhere they looked was something new.

It was amazing, the girls forgot how dirty they were, forgot about the rain and the cuts on their legs from the tall grass. They forgot that this was their last night together, that soon they would all be off to school and not see each other for months, for some longer. They forgot about all responsibility and worry, totally engrossed in the present and the fiery balls exploding all around them. For a better viewing position, they climbed a few hay bails; Molly and Beth on one and Ria and Kelsey on the other. They stayed until the very last firework erupted, till the only sounds they could hear were the crickets and their own breathing. It was a perfect, Lovettsville night.

1 comment:

Kelsey said...

Maria, I love you. You are so beautiful, romantic, and articulate. The way you write just makes me miss you guys so much more. You really capture some special, indescribable spirit of our friendship, town, and lives. I don't know if I am allowed to leave comments because I think you said this was for school, but that was just amazing and made me extremely homesick... in the best way possible.