It’s like a contest around here. It’s like you all have gotten together to see how many American flags you can buy down at one of the WalMarts. You stick them in your front yard, spaced every three feet, so stifled they can’t even wave in the faint breeze.
At dusk, you pretend to honor the veterans. You set down the Bud Light and hot dog. You remove your hat, put your hand over your heart and close your eyes so you can’t see. You look like you might weep, honoring those who went off to fight so you didn’t have to. A moment of silence before you rip the night open with whistling and sparkling and exploding. And every veteran you honored runs to shelter deep in their dugouts of whiskey and beer and vodka, wishing they had never seen that flag you hang so carelessly.
In the morning, like a brigade of fighting clowns has moved through in the night heading toward Missouri. Colorful cardboard tubes burned into the road. Pink and orange parachutes hanging from trees, the flares burnt out, the leaves burned away.
And when the sun goes down, you’ll wake up and do it all over again. Because this is fucking America! The greatest, most freest, mostest powerful country God has ever blessed the planet with. Until it isn’t. And it isn’t. But light that M-80, blow all these doubts away.