i looked it up one day when i was bored, and it turns out i have ligyrophobia, officially the fear of loud noises. if i could add the word "sudden" to that definition, that would sum me up perfectly. i think i have it traced back to an easter egg hunt when i was 2, thanks to an old home movie: all the other kids went apeshit when the gun went off, signaling the start of the hunt. i fell to the ground, screaming and crying. since then, thunderstorms caused me to flee to my parents' room and july 4 was always my least favorite holiday. in a cruel bit of irony, it's my brother's favorite. jack is a huge pyro and used to stock fireworks all year long the way mormons stock food in case the world ends. every july 4 spelled the end of the road for an unlucky barbie of mine. my family would spend the holiday at various friends' houses, enjoying the fireworks, while i would be in the basement, crying and blasting a disney movie to drown out the sound.
this year was different. i went out to harrison lake, where my cousins have a house, and braved the noise to enjoy the sights. i did squeal a few times at the particularly loud ones, but for the most part, the simple beauty of exploding light was worth it. who knows? maybe next year i'll be able to watch them without my ears plugged.