July the fourth

Fireworks tonight. On Bald Knob we’ll watch ’em blast over the feed, Bill and me.

He’s a damned knucklehead, Pop Jim used to say. But so am I, at times. Blue-eyed son of a mechanic. Handsome in that freckled way.

“Denny,” he’ll say. “How long you been sittin’ here waitin’?” And I’ll say, “None of your business. Long enough.” And then he’ll plop down as he does and split a Snickers he’ll swipe from his dad’s shop.

It ain’t like how you think. I love him all right, but not in that moon-and-stars sort of way. Not quite like a brother either.

The stars’ll burst tonight and we’ll not say a dozen words during, but I know he’ll miss me come the fall.

Thirteen seasons under a summer sky. Ten with my pop. Three with my boy. Blue City High School don’t make or take Billy Hannigans.

So I’ll miss him too. There’s the truth. And if Bill don’t say so, I surely will.

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