Backyard party

Flashes, from somewhere, bursts of radiance from the roof of the sky. Blurry hectic light, soft, and distant, like a camera bulb, and there were many cameras, staggered laughter, ambulatory conversations. It was Jeremiah’s last birthday, and he asked for a backyard party, though I don’t know why, the beer, I suppose. There was still a hope for a decent harvest. There had been good rain, not plentiful, but not miserly, not like now as it rains out of spite, the crops are ruined anyway, so drench the earth with useless wet fingers, and his birthday was all right, a little forced, he was fifty-two, an odd number to turn it into an occasion, but he was like a boozy child with all that free store-bought liquor and grilled meat. The cameras, so many cameras immortalizing the moment, and Jeremiah loved the attention, right up until he passed out on the porch, his underpants exposed, the guests drifting away – driven away — by the tawdry words, the blurred agitated stumblings. From them, all their pious smiles, the sympathetic nods, happy birthday, Jeremiah, you made everyone wonder why you were worth celebrating.

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