Strangers with Candy

I went to the parade today. It was 100 degrees and humid. Sweltering. The dumbass parade. It had a half dozen shitty bands, a half dozen republicans that were running for office and dozens of veterans that we stood up and clapped for. I don’t see the appeal of parades. It didn’t help that I had almost no sleep, it was hotter than lesbians in a sauna and my breakfast was a god damned lie.

We finished our breakfast bites and began our two minute trek to our seats. We set the chairs in front of the party rental store and across the street from the grocer. We passed idiots from all walks of life. Hopeless patriots who have yet to turn a cynical brown eye. As I internally complained about the minuscule portion of greasy cheese, processed meat and egg substitute, I couldn’t help but look around and be disgusted and saddened by the obscenely obese people frying in the midwestern sun. In fairness, and not to take away from Carmel’s reputation, there were plastic women strewn about, tending to children and bragging for their husbands.

I slouched into my seat and opened the umbrella that I had garnered from my dad. my fat and exhaustion were already taking place in the five minutes that we sat and waited for sweaty people to walk by so we could wave to them and that they could wave back. Almost an inhumane, human zoo. A police officer suddenly passed on a motor bike. He tweaked his siren. And the kids took position.

Kennedy and her cousins went to the curb and held a bag in their hand. The heat, seemingly had zero effect on them. They did have the beaded brow and flushed cheeks. These addicts stood with a fixed stare on the approaching cavalcade. These kids, who’s attention is harder to keep than a good reputation for John Travolta, focus with eagle precision. They lock on and have developed a darwinian trait to collect candy for the common good. I watch as the dart out into the street, risking a skinned knee for a piece of Hubble Bubble.

Kennedy and her cousins were given a small American Flag (made in China, by the by) and Miles had gotten one himself. Kennedy and her cousins were too busy watching the cattle’s hands to notice the loud fire engine. Miles immediately looks at it. His eyes busily scan back and forth. He is taking every last inch of that truck in. His long eyelashes bob and weave with the scan of his eyes. His eyes smile and his lips follow suit. He stands up and puts his right hand out and begins to wave the flag back and forth. It reminisced of Jack, Jr., minus the chilly weather and skirt. He stood there and smiled and waved the flag back and forth.

I then realized, even though I’m stuck there with all of those fat, disgusting people, I was there on my own behalf. I knew that we were going for the kids, but seeing them there. Seeing them wave off a 100 degree day and smile from ear hole to ear hole warmed the depths of my cavernous heart. They made me smile. I still don’t fully understand the appeal to wave at sweaty strangers, I love that my children love something for no apparent reason. It made the little man who shook my hand easier to take.

Please to enjoy

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