Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hot Dogs & Trouble

It could turn out to be a nightmare. Or maybe not. Either way, I have a leery eye on the celebratory weekend at hand. The 4th of July. For many years the date had for me little note, little concern, just another day on the calendar. It’s not a special day where I lived. But I’m no longer in Oz and the outlook is different. Not a great time for me, since I’m in something like a period of adjustment, already unsteady with all the recent changes in my world. I don’t need a hectic holiday weekend. The big 4th of July bang here at the beach is not an experience I’ve ever had. Something tells me it will go far beyond what I imagine.

Various sources for the scenes I imagine. I hear stories from people who have lived here a few years. Bad tales from management, gossip among co-owners and warnings from friends who’ve seen it too many times. ‘No, people don’t really do that, do they?’ After those cautions here’s what I imagine…

Numbers of people in the category of hordes; more screaming children than I personally can bear; total strangers without connection arriving at the beach figuring they can make a day of it anyplace with a pool and beach access. Camps of people knotted around the pool, wedged between the chairs, tables, coolers, floats and other toys; too much litter to step over or through; unknown people seeing an empty chair and sitting with all their bags and friends on my patio; fireworks late at night, early morning; red, white and blue bunting and flags flying from balconies; the dread of having to hunt down someone who slipped into my parking place while I went ten minutes to the store. Where’s Security when you need it?

Let’s see how accurate these nightmare thoughts turn out to be.

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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America