Several years ago, I lived in small town on the northern front range of Colorado. This is a true story:
So, I’m home for the day and sacked out on the comfy chair watching The Firm and munching on fruity cheerios. I’m kind of sleepy and sore from working in the yard. KA-BOOM! The whole house shakes from what felt like my deck exploding. KA-BOOM! Is someone trying to break down my sliding glass doors? I look back and forth from Tom Cruise to my curtain covered sliding doors. I know someone is out there and trying to get in at me- several someones by the sound of it.
My mind panics. I’m too scared to look out the curtain. I grab the phone, back into the kitchen, dial 911 and expect someone to burst through flying glass and attack me before the operator can answer.
“What is your address?”
Voice shaking, possibly squeaking, “241 6th Street.”
“What is the number you are calling from?”
“What is the emergency?” Her voice is slow trying to calm me down; she does not understand the impeding death about to occur right in her ear.
“I don’t know what’s going on, it sounds like explosions on my deck, like someone is trying to blast my doors,” there is obvious panic/hysteria in my voice. “Should I leave?”
“If you feel safer, you could lock yourself in a room.”
“My doors don’t have any locks.”
“Go into the bathroom and I’ll stay on the phone with you until the officer arrives.”
“Is that the sound I hear?”
“Yes, it’s still going on; my house is shaking.”
“Okay, the officer is there; he is checking your backyard, stay in the bathroom. I’ll tell you when he’s at the front door and it’s safe to come out.”
“Ok” Now I’m standing in the bathtub with the shower curtain pulled shut. I decide that’s stupid, I could be trapped, so I get up on the counter where the sink is. I’m shaking.
“M’am, the officer is at your font door, go ahead and let him in.”
“Ok” I open the bathroom door slowly, peering out and emerging. I look down the stairs and out the windows in the door, to the dark front porch. I can tell someone is there, but they are so dark- I hesitate on the third step down, still holding the phone to my ear. The officer must have seen me stop because he turns on his flashlight and now I can see he is really an officer- at least he has a uniform on.
I open the front door and say into the phone, “Thank you for staying on the phone with me.”
“You’re welcome and I’ll hang up now.”
I hit the off button and the officer says, “Come on out here. I want to show you something.”
Something began to connect in my mind- it was a vague memory…the officer said, “Look up,” as we walk out into my yard.
The western sky is filled with blues and greens and little popping sounds.
I look at the officer, “I feel like a moron.”
“Not at all; enjoy the rest of the show.” He walks back to the patrol car.
Only in a small town do they have a fireworks show worthy of the 4th of July in September, celebrating Community Days, and half-a-block from my house.