Sunday, July 7, 2019

a moment in the day: fourth

It's the Fourth of July and we're in the little upstairs bathroom. Nicholas and I. Sitting on the floor with the loud bathroom fan on and the door closed. I'm sitting on an old cushion from the couch we no longer have, Nicholas on my lap, my laptop open beside us blaring music. I pet him and sing along.

I'm going to Kansas City 
Kansas City, here I come. 
I'm going to Kansas City 
Kansas City, here I come. 
They got some swingin' little fellas 
And I'm going to get me one.

Peggy Lee's version. 

It's my best defense against the war zone of neighborhood Fourth of July bombs bursting all Francis-Scott-Key outside. When I first moved in, I hated that you couldn't turn on the light in this bathroom without this loud fan coming on, but it's been indispensable for Fourth of Julys and the occasional thunderstorm. We got started in here around seven when the accumulation of pops and bangs started to get Nicholas agitated. I found an old Sherlock Holmes movie on Youtube and we were watching it together, until the sounds outside ramped up and a film wasn't cutting it anymore. That, and Inspector Lestrade and Professor Moriarty started trading gunfire, undermining my whole diversion plan in the first place. That's when we turned to the music. 

It's eleven now, no signs of a let-up anytime soon. Nicholas on my lap stares at the closed bathroom door, then settles down with his chin on my leg, closes his eyes, then head up again to stare at the door. Sometimes I can't even hear the pops that make it through the wall of sound I've created in here, but Nicholas is ever on alert. We hear a little burst and he starts panting. I pet him and sing. 

Might take a train, 
Might take a plane, 
If I have to walk I'm going all the same. 
I'm going to Kansas City 
Kansas City, here I come. 

It occurs to me that I didn't eat dinner. My butt on the couch cushion is a slab of slate. 

The song winds up to its climax and I go in for the big finish. Nicholas isn't impressed but at least he's distracted. But then the wailing trumpets die down and we can hear the fireworks again, and Nicholas' head comes up off my lap. He looks at me, distressed and starts panting. Youtube is randomly choosing the next video to play but it's not a Peggy Lee song, it's some video clip from the old game show What's My Line, and that ain't gonna cut it. Quick I reach to the little touch pad on my laptop, because I wasn't smart enough to bring the mouse, hunting around for something else I know the words to. 

I don't know from Spotify.

Nicholas starts to move around on my lap like he's looking for a place to hide. Panting. Pops and bangs through the hum of the fan. I grab the first Peggy Lee song I find that I haven't already played. I click go and the music starts again. Horns and drums. I start to sing. 

The minute you walked in the joint 
I could see you were a man of distinction, 
A real big spender. 
Good looking, so refined. 
Say, wouldn't you like to know 
What's going on in my mind? 
So, let me get right to the point. 
I don't pop my cork for every guy I see.

Nicholas stops panting, settles. He puts his chin on my lap and closes his eyes.

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