Wednesday, 6 November 2019
The fifth of November was yesterday but I'm still out launching fireworks. I don't mind it: my brother forked out a fair bit of dosh towards it so he can work in peace. I'm used to being fobbed off. Personally I prefer it these days.
My brother's work has taken a funny turn. He keeps odd hours now. Hence sending me to set off fireworks at one o'clock in the afternoon. Daylight fireworks. It's pretty overcast today but still, if you ask me, the pretty colours are being wasted on it. All I can really see is the fluorescent pink of the rocket just gone up, Velvet Flare. I think that's supposed to be a pun.
Still I suppose it's just as much about the sound effects. The whizzes, the bangs, the crackles. There's something so crisp about it all or maybe that's just the Autumn chill.
At least we had a bonfire last night, of sorts. My brother stuffed some folders and loose papers among the logs and twigs, even some metal once the fire was really blazing. I daren't ask about it, besides he wouldn't say anything, just grunt at me and slink off straight back to work.
I think it must be a bad time of year now for him, November. A lot piling up before Christmas. As for New Year? It all just comes round again, he tells me. You should see the look on his face when he says that, grey bags under his eyes and that weeping scar on his chin. You should hear how hollow his sigh has become.
I wish he'd just pack it all in but then his line of work isn't the kind you can get out of easily. Cleaning up he calls it but I know it's too messy for that.
Why else would I be standing in the middle of a field at the edge of our estate as a favour to him? Why else would I be lighting touch paper and running? Because of the spectacle. The distraction. While all eyes are on the way I'm popping a dull sky full of holes, he can safely get away with doing similar with smaller, earthbound targets. There must be a few to get through tonight: I am to keep launching fireworks till it's actually late. Then he'll come tap me on the shoulder and we can finally go home.
While the rest of town are out brightening winter, my brother and I will be back indoors. Well, while he lays down in a darkened room yet again, I'll be by the window looking out for the both of us.