Posts I guess

I came into the room holding a white box in my hands. My boyfriend didn’t notice me at first. Flint was draped over the sofa like an over-sized Great Dane, his eyes glued to the muted TV. I heard him sigh in lament as he watched the clips KCAL News were broadcasting of firework shows from the East Coast. The sun hadn’t yet set here in Los Angeles, but on the other side of the country it was over.

“Flint,” I said softly. He lifted his head and glanced over at me with a mournful, uninterested expression on his face.
“What?” he sulked.
“I have a present for you.”
“…But my birthday isn’t until August.”
“I know baby.” I smile. “This is a just-because present.”
He glanced over at the bright colors on the screen before sitting up. I took a seat next to him and offered the box. Flint carefully peeled off the white butcher paper; the box was blank and held no clues to its contents. He popped the tape and opened it. When he saw what was inside, his brow furrowed.
“Headphones?” he inquired.
“They’re gun-range earmuffs, and there’s some high end earplugs in there too. I know how badly you wanted to go see fireworks this 4th of July, and this will help dampen the sound so it won’t trigger your PTSD.”

Flint’s face softened and he traced his fingers over the padding on the left ear cup. “But…are you sure it will be enough so I don’t have an anxiety attack?”
I put a hand on his shoulder. “Yes. I found a place up in the hills, called the Baldwin Hills Overlook. It’s in Culver City. It’s way up in the hills and not directly below any fireworks shows, so you can see them at a distance without being in direct range of the loud bangs and explosions.”
He bit his lip. I could see Flint badly wanted to believe me. Before he was deployed to the Middle East, we would go down to Dockweiler Beach and light bonfires and set off illegal firecrackers and just generally act like drunk hooligans. As a child, Fourth of a July was a family affair for little Flint and he felt a strong pull to carry on the tradition of flag cakes, cook-outs, and things that go boom. Being stuck at home made him miserable, especially because he was a military man and felt pressure to participate.

“Tovy…I’m not …but what if it’s not enough?” he said softly.
“Parking is free, and we can leave at any time. It’s not far from our apartment here in West Hollywood, just down La Cienega then we turn on Jefferson. Easy peasy. Worse comes to worse, Brotman Medical Center is like right there.”

Flint took the items out of the box. “You’ve thought of everything,” he said in awe. He looked away but I saw that his eyes were wet.
“Yes, because I know it means a lot to you. Oh – one more thing.”
Flint blinked. “There’s more?”
“Yes,” I said. I got up and vanished into the kitchen, then returned holding some rectangular in metal tin.
“A flag cake!” he squealed.
“Made with Cool Whip and everything,” I beamed.
“Oh Tovy baby,” his voice cracked as he threw his arms around me. “You’re the best goddamn boyfriend. I’m so excited.” He punctuated that with a kiss. I watched him put the earmuffs on. “How do I look?”
“Dorky,” I chuckled.
“What?” he said.
I pulled them away from his ears. “Adorkable, but I like you that way. Now grab your sweater while I pack us some drinks.”
Flint smiled at me, then turned off the TV and was up the stairs in a flash.

We got lucky and found parking at base of the park, then began the upward climb up switchbacks to the baseball fields above; from there, we then continued up a steep driveway to the Overlook. Flint paused to stare at the panorama of Los Angeles spread out below us. “This is fantastic,” he breathed. “You can see all the way from the Pacific Ocean to Downtown…and beyond. I had no idea this was up here! Goddamn, the sunset is gorgeous, setting behind the hills like that. Oh, I can see the 10!”
I let him gush, then we found a spot and sat down. By the time we cut the cake, people were lighting off things down below and Flint dived for the earplugs and headphones. People stared at us, but Flint ignored them in favor of being hand-fed cake by me. We drank our sodas until the sun set, and firework shows began legally -and illegally- all over the city. Flint and I eventually packed up our stuff back into my backpack and stood to see over everyone else. As the night deepened, more and more neighborhoods began to shoot off their pyrotechnics. I watched Flint carefully, but he was transfixed.

When a community college close to the Overlook began their show, Flint reached for my hand and squeezed it hard.
“Do you wanna go?” I asked.
Flint didn’t respond. He couldn’t hear me, and he wasn’t paying attention. I watched the colors reflect in his eyes and I realized he was crying. I wrapped my arms around him and he clung to me, sniffling. “You know why I love fireworks so much?”
I shook my head.
“Because even if we fucked up in the Middle East, and even if the US sometimes does dumb shit, fireworks allow us to be patriotic without being political. I think we need that, now more than ever. I never thought I’d get to see them again because of my stupid PTSD.”
I kissed his cheek and rested my head on his shoulder.

As the finales came on, Flint had started to tremble from their bombastic displays. We made it through the Culver City finale, and then he told me he wanted to go in a harried voice. Truthfully, it was a smart move. We got out of there before traffic began and we were home in record time.

I was the first in the door with Flint trailing behind me. He barely shut the door when he grabbed my wrist and spun me around. I gasped in surprise as he came at me pelvis first, then pinned me to the wall with a deep kiss. His hands roved up my arms and my shoulders as he rubbed his half-hard erection into my hip. My hands instantly went to his ass. When we broke, I was panting and my lips felt slightly bruised.
“What was that?”
“A thank you,” he murmured, trailing kisses up my jaw. “You are just the most wonderful, fantastic thing to happen to me, Tovy. I haven’t felt so wonderful in a long time, and watching you feed me cake made me ridiculously horny.”
I lifted my hips off the wall to meet him, and I was pleased to hear him groan. “You wanna go create some fireworks of our own?”
I saw a flicker of amusement cross Flint’s face. “Fuck yeah I do. I’m going to make love to you so hard you’re gonna sing the Star Spangled Banner.”
I laughed and Flint couldn’t help but join me. I paused to put the rather smushed cake remains back into the fridge, then ran to join Flint in the bedroom. He was naked and waiting for me, and tasted deliciously of strawberries and Cool Whip.

I didn’t dare tell Flint, but he was a screamer and he made more noise than any explosion we heard from Baldwin Hills that night.

Text is fictional. Can’t find the source. The Baldwin Hills Overlook is a real thing on Jefferson Blvd in Los Angeles (not to be confused with the Kenneth Hahn Recreation area on La Cienega Blvd) and a great place to see fireworks.


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