Monday, February 9, 2009

BOOM!

No sleeping here tonight.

It's the first full moon after the Lunar New Year. Also known as Lantern Festival.

Which means we get a fireworks show right outside our bedroom window. Literally. Right. Outside. I'm talking ten feet away. Ka-pow!

I saw the moon outside the bathroom window while giving Anna a bath. Suspended over the next-door building. White, round, luminous. Catch-your-breath beautiful.

The buildings reverberate with the crash, bang, boom of fireworks and crackers. Sounds like a warzone. The city's last night to party. Tomorrow will seem dull and quiet with black garbage bags of firework refuse piled up. Charred red paper swept into mounds or still scattered over the ground. Depending on if the street sweepers get to work on time.

When I was a kid in Hong Kong, Lantern Festival was my favorite. Different from here. My friends and I would meet at the sea wall in Mei Foo. We'd bring candles and matches. We'd fill every hole in the wall with candles. Line them along the top. Let them flicker in the salty breeze. Burn our fingers on dripping wax. It was glorious. End the night in a bonfire. The guards would come rushing out with fire extinguishers.

And to think, next year Lantern Festival may go by without me noticing it. Seems impossible that I may not hear the booming of fireworks across the ocean. Maybe I'll save a sparkler from Fourth of July, stand outside my house alone and light it.

Looking up at the moon.

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