21 years ago today I left my beloved New Orleans to move to Kansas following a massive flood on May 8th that destroyed much of our belongings. 18 inches of rainfall in 6 hours and my grandmother who is from Kansas was just over New Orleans after living there for more than 40 years. She too moved to Los Angeles first after working and saving enough money as a school teacher in a one room school house to move away from Kansas. She worked as a successful model in Hollywood in the 1940’s, she even dated Raymond Burr before he became Perry Mason.
I’m not a fan of nationalism. I believe we should all be citizens of the world and pride in our country’s sake for sake of pride means nothing. The Independence from Britain this holiday once stood for seems lost in the ongoing changes and assaults on our personal liberties as our country has moved further and further away from the constitution. I’m all for fire & celebration for any reason, I enjoy fireworks. I enjoy fireworks more when the overuse of them doesn’t fuck with wildlife and probably shove L.A. into heavy smog warning status, because of the high population here, the air quality is already iffy. I enjoy fireworks more when I’m not playing the game fireworks or gunshots for weeks leading up to the 4th because we live in active gang territory (though there’s much less violence near our apartment here than when we lived in East Kanas City though, thankfully). Because those bullets have to go somewhere, they don’t just shoot up into the air and dissipate.
I hope whoever you are, wherever you are, you have a good day. Whether you’re celebrating or not, regardless of why you’re celebrating or not. Eating grilled cow or vegan. I’m going to stay home and work on filling orders for Belladonna’s Cupboard & Bitch Box and work on finishing the next issue of Crazy Bitch Magazine. I find myself missing family a lot. We MIGHT drive out to a beach overlook later and try to find a less crowded area to watch some fireworks from the car, for the kid’s sake.
I miss going out to My father in law’s parents’ house for grilling and shooting off fireworks. Before I met my husband, Logan, I never got to shoot them off myself. Before the 4th of July 5 years ago, I’d never shot a gun. My mother in law showed me how. Turns out I’m a decent shot. Last year, Beth, Logan and I were already in the process of trying to get to Los Angeles & staying with my brother, Michael, in Texas and shooting off fireworks with him and my little sister, Amber Burrow. All of those times celebrating were out in the middle of the country, away from the population. I’m so grateful for those times and although I miss my family all over the country. This is the first year since I left New Orleans in 1995 that I feel like I’m in the right place on this day. I’m where I want to be working on what I want for my family and my life. That to me makes this more of Independence Day to me than any sense of patriotism or nationalism ever could. Personal independence. Happy Independence Day everyone!