Soldiers of the American Revolution fought that 18th century war with heavy muskets. In the early 20th century, we kids fought it every Fourth of July not only with exploding powder and shimmering flares, but with all of our senses.
I am the living death, a Memorial Day on wheels. I am your Yankee Doodle Dandy, your John Wayne come home, your Fourth of July firecracker exploding in the grave.
Touch was important. The evening of the Third of July we would go around the neighborhood and look at the fireworks others had bought, taking them out of the brown paper sack and handling them cautiously as if they were precious stones. There was envy when we saw sacks with more in them than we had.
There comes a time when people get tired of being pushed out of the glittering sunlight of life’s July and left standing amid the piercing chill of an alpine November.