Saturday night after Thanksgiving is the time for the Audubon Fire Engine Parade.
Miles of brightly lit, obnoxiously loud emergency vehicles travelling small town streets.
Dozens of firemen uncomfortably far from their station house bars for entirely too long a time on a weekend evening.
Thousands of people lining the street, most with children, some without, all lost in the blaze and cacophony for 45 minutes or so.
Traffic intermittently halted on a major suburban thoroughfare.
Convenience stores making their monthly nut in one night on coffee and hot chocolate sales.
Fezzed Shriners slewing lazy slaloms in their tiny clown cars.
Well, alright, no Shriners, no fezzes, and no clown cars. But there should be.
People who once lived in the town but moved away to bigger, better places return like swallows back to Capistrano. Drawn inexplicably like Roy Neary to Devil's Tower.
Young hearts flutter from too much caffeine.
Old hearts flutter from, well, from old age.
Penny candy tossed becomes legal tender for a few minutes.
Old friends separated by time and space fall together again for a short evening.
Regrets are reversed and jagged grudges sanded smooth.
We can still be frustrated and petty, talk behind each other's backs, and let jealousy eat away at life's fiber like the irresistible corrosive it is. But not this night. Not until tomorrow.
So maybe we should do this a bit more often.