Though Chicago ally Rar Rar Press was generous enough to lend the Company a place to congregate, this week's meeting lasted all of five minutes before the misanthropes, so enticed by the acrid stink of spent gunpowder wafting in through the window, motioned to curtail the evening's agenda in favour of joining the commotion outside. It's the Fourth of July, after all, and the and the Company is staying in the Pilsen neighbourhood.
Anybody in Chicago will tell you that nobody celebrates firework holidays like they do in the Mexican neighbourhoods, and Pilsen, along with Logan Square, is the place to be.
The air was already thick with firecracker smoke when the Company convoy arrived Friday. Things have been whistling and exploding night and day, and there was a palpable feeling that residents were impatiently saving their best explosions for tonight. Few in the Company felt they could pass it up.
Most fireworks, including sparklers, are illegal in the state of Illinois. This does little to deter patriotic Americans from exercising their god-given right to lose arms. Just beyond Chicago's city limits is Indiana, with dozens of fireworks stores conveniently located right up against the state line.
* * *Happy Independence Day, Chicago. Play safe.