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Birthday Party (belated entry) July 5, 2006

Posted by Matt Hurst in Cultural Portraits, Politics.

It was the people’s birthday, and like any good work day the kids called in sick.  The kids had been keeping strange hours the weekend before, slinging back beer bottles like they were a bottle of water after a long run.  They made a boisterous sound where others would here them, proud of themselves and a day of release and abandon.  That is only after they made there way out of the house, if they would at all.

I made my way out of the compound, where every other kind of store that could turn a profit would be open.  Profit was the only motive involved in a gas station or grocery store, where we spotted men and women proudly swaggering towards their cars with bottles of tequilla and rum in each hand – celebration would take some mental lubrication in order for at least themselves to get off today.
  (i am speaking of The Fourth of July, a national holiday at one time).  We had barely worked our way out of the paid prison block to the grocery before we found ourselves stumbling back in to the plausible deniability that could be called privacy.  The compulsion of american social society pushed me out the door, though i could do without it.  Greater comfort of relative seclusion seemed a priviledge takrn for granted these days, even as we journeyed for coffee and drink in successive trips.   In the end, it was together that we had reason to celebrate, though not necessarily the holiday at hand.

It wasn’t so much that a shortage of things to be done could be found as much as that they were too afraid to go out.  The past year had seemed as cruel as ever, except there was even less to celebrate.  A holdiay to celebrate freedom found its last refuge in the home, where over phone lines and spending records tied to their address people could question just as well.  Any pair of homosexual couples, gleeming the week before in pride, could feel the pinch of constitutional meassures contrary to the very spirit of equality.  And the very idea of waving flags sickened ordinary men and women with the failed amendments against how the flag might to used, especially as fire kindle; although those using it as the backdrop to open genocide and general madness abroad had no sense of its descration.  So if we stood as good patriots whilst the national anthem played over loud speakers and television sets, it was only in fear that big brother were watching us all the while (even at home).



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