As we sat in our dining room with the neighbors, the remains of dinner on our plates, fireworks broke out in another part of the city.
The fireworks weren't supposed to start until 10:30, said L., the chef. According to my calculations, someone had started them a good seven minutes early, which is so like the Swedes.
We half-watched them as we smoked strange Turkish tobacco with a waterpipe, the fireworks crackling and popping and fizzing and booming in the reflection of the window of an apartment across the courtyard. It was a peculiar sideways view, looking through the frame of our window into the reflection of the fireworks, framed by another window.
What were they celebrating, I wondered.
No one knew. Not even L., though she had known there were supposed to be fireworks.
"We met each other four years ago today," L. said, referring to her and her boyfriend, P. the guitarist. "Or was it the 8th?"
Ah, I said, so the fireworks are for you two it seems.
Yes, indeed. So we smoked more Turkish tobacco and put old Madonna CDs on the stereo and turned up the volume and danced madly on the bare wood floors.
The Swedish word for the day is fyrverkeri. It means fireworks.
- by Francis S.