The town was built along a string of adjacent hills, and no part of it was visible from any other part more than two blocks away. If one hill had been higher than the others, it would have been possible to have a vantage point; but without that, the town was hidden from itself, its hills democratically rising and falling to roughly the same height. Even from my second-floor bedroom window, the furthest I could see was to the opposite hillside.
The only time my view expanded was during the week of the county fair when fireworks were set off nightly. On nights when I wasn’t at the fair’s closing, I could see the fireworks above the half dozen hills between my house and the fairgrounds, streaking upward and then rupturing into the air. Each time a firework detonated, there was a moment–never more than two seconds–before the jangly sound of the explosion’s punctuation mark reached my window; and it was during that moment that the beauty of the fireworks existed for me, the patterns of sparks and the streaks of color flashing soundlessly across the sky like an explosion in space–energy released without the distraction of a soundtrack.