10 July 2020
Sleepless In Seattle?
And by *fireworks* I don't mean the Independence day, everyone cheering when they light up the sky variety. I mean the every-thirty-minutes-keeps-you-up-all-night kind of fireworks.
Are you exhausted? Cranky? Confused?
Have you called the [insert: police, fire department, congressman, shrink, other authority] to complain and hopefully make it stop so you can go back to sleep?
One thing's for sure, complaints are way up in 2020 versus this time in previous years.
New York City ~ Chicago ~ Los Angeles ~ San Francisco ~ Boston ~ Denver ~ Philadelphia
Hmmmm, a modern-day mystery to be solved. Whodunit? And maybe even more compelling, whydunit?
For the past few weeks, I've scoured social media feeds, googled news articles, watched YouTube interviews, and checked in with friends who live in or near those cities. Word from my daily scrolling is that these all-night fireworks aren't being hailed as celebratory (Independence Day traditional and amateur shows notwithstanding), as much as ominous.
I ruled out the run-of-the-mill illegal fireworks shenanigans from collectors who are bored with the pandemic's shelter-in-place orders, because too many cities were being inundated simultaneously across the country and the onslaught was so relentless.
Were said pyros honoring the front line workers who still battle against the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite varying levels of lock downs?
Are they resulting from the Black Lives Matter protests? Or counter-protests? I ruled this theory out when I learned that fireworks sales spiked two weeks before George Floyd's murder.
Are they some other kind of coordinated protest? I steered clear of the mounting conspiracy theories ranging from the fireworks displays covering up actual gunfire and a government attacks, all of which flirt with paranoia.
Even weeks later, no one seems to know for sure, nor has any group claimed responsibility. If only we knew who and why, then authorities could attempt to assuage the onslaught. For now, we are a captive, involuntary audience.
And then it hit me...
But isn't that what we crime writers strive for with every story we write? To keep our readers in suspense so they can't sleep at night for wanting and needing more information? To follow every stray clue to somehow solve the impossible riddle? To ultimately find relief in the answers.
As they say, the suspense is killing me. Do you have any theories about these fireworks?
PS ~ Let's be social: