Happy Kids

Where I come from, we call ’em Christmas lights. In New York City in July, they call ’em patio lights.

As far as I’m concerned, a New York City roof deck is incomplete without ’em. I struck out early Saturday morning for a few strands. Gracious Home, Urban Outfitters, and a handful of local hardware stores all failed me. Once again, it was Bed, Bath and Beyond to the rescue.

I was sweat straight through by the time they were strung. I had scarcely enough time to whip up some salsa, drag some speakers outside, and hop in the shower before the buzzer began sounding.

Somewhere between Mike Doughty’s “Looking At The World From The Bottom Of A Well” and Nada Surf’s “Happy Kids,” one of the strands fell down. The collective gasped, then giggled. I scaled my neighbor’s roof, rehung them, and stood there a minute with my hands on my hips.

‘These are good friends,’ I thought. ‘You’re lucky.’

Heather broke my reverie. “You are not a golden god.”

I didn’t jump. Nor did my guests. The last one left around three a.m.

In the morning, struggling through the languid heat to bag up the empties, I counted five bottles of wine, two bottles of champagne, and enough Bass and Stella to inebriate the Twelvth Mountain Division. There were, maybe, twenty of us.

Everyone was well lit.

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