July 5th – Trash Can Be Treasure

When I was a kid, more than looking forward to the fireworks on the 4th of July, I looked forward to the 5th. In the temporary coolness of the early morning, I would climb onto my bike and go on a treasure hunt.

This was in the city in the mid-80’s, and we still set off our fireworks in our backyards and back alleys. I hunted those alleys for my booty, the torn wrappers with their trace scent of black powder and sulphur.

I don’t know what I liked about those little things. They really seemed like treasure to me, with soft paper and bright colors, reds and golds. They were covered in strange pictures symbols of Chinese writing. I imagined someone was sending messages on those little wrappers.

After a few years, I quit, because I realized I was – literally – picking up and saving trash, but even trash can be treasure to a vivid imagination.



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