On July 4 this year we spent the day at Jones beach, melting in the sun and getting sunburned in inopportune places. Ben and I each brought two e-readers; my perpetual “backup book” has apparently been replaced, in the modern age, by an entire backup library. In the non-lifeguarded area we weren’t supposed to swim, but it was independence day, so we did anyway. The water was cold but pleasant.
At one point I saw two people, strangers to me and to each other, accidentally forming an impromptu American flag. I didn’t have a camera to hand, but have recreated it in Paint:
There was something so nice about it, this unintentional patriotism; different people who don’t know each other and might not get along even if they did, somehow forming a greater whole without even realizing it.