I don't know why, but I hope it's always that way.
We had several fireworks shows in the Keys last night. A few weeks ago, I presented to my boss my idea for the station to soundtrack the show. After a green light and a few phone calls later, we were in business.
And since I put the sucker together, I got to go out on the barge (the fireworks are shot from the middle of the ocean) and countdown the start of the show, so the music would match up.
I've known about this for a while, and I've been excited about it for a while. But something weird has been happening every time I told someone.
Phone conversation - my sister Mollie and me.
Me: "So since it was my idea, I get to be ON THE BARGE, in the MIDDLE OF THE OCEAN. They're shooting the fireworks OFF OF THE BARGE, and I get to be right there and start the whole thing."
Me: "OH MY GOD. THANK YOU!"
Me: "Dude, every time I've told someone about this, they get this slightly jealous look on their face, then their face gets all hard, and they're all, 'Oooh, you be careful. Man, that's dangerous. Are you sure you want to do that? Well, you better be careful.'"
Me: "Like what the fuck do they think I'm going to do? Point to my stomach and say, 'Shoot 'em off right here, boys! I've been working out! I can take it!'"
Mollie: "Jamie, I said it was cool."
Me: "I know. This has just been pissing me off."
So last night, I met the pyrotechnics crew on a dock to be boated out to the barge.
When I met the main guy, he immediately said, "You have a lot of guts."
I smiled politely and rolled my eyes internally.
The barge was a rusty black monstrosity in the middle of the bay. Once we boarded, I looked around.
You guys. There were so many boats anchored, all their lights looked like a city. It was twinkly and salty and gorgeous.
We worked out the details. I did a pre-show call-in that was broadcast. While I was talking, I could hear the echos of my voice bouncing from the hundreds of boat radios all over the surface of the water.
Once it was time, I counted down the start of the show on the air (What power! Call me Mr. Burns.), then put in my earplugs.
The fireworks rocked the boat, and the noise was unbelievable. The show was directly over our heads. I felt like a dork, but couldn't stop myself from shouting, "Woooo!" and "OhmygodthisisAMAZING!" over and over.
One of the crew lifted me up over the edge of the barge so I could see the flames and sparks and chunks of ash shooting out of the tubes every time a firecracker blew off. The yellow streams of fire jumped several feet out of the tube every time they sent another one into the sky.
At one point, while we were all staring straight up at the finale, a crew member shouted, "You know how you can tell you people can tell you were on the barge? You have a crick in your neck the next day!"
I added, "And, you're deaf!"
It was spectacular.
When it was over, we were surrounded by applause and boat horns honking. And I didn't really do anything, but I couldn't help feeling proud.
That adrenaline rush didn't go away anytime soon. Thank God.