It is always easier for me to embrace patriotism from far away. Inside America, I am so bombarded with rage-inducing news or people or things on a near daily basis, that sometimes I forget how often I am called upon as the sole defender of American dignity when I travel and how eagerly I uphold that mantle. As it is my travels these days mostly consist of going to England, which seems to not really be traveling so much as half-living. I am the butt of jokes. And it’s not so bad, and I don’t mind good-natured ribbing. But the most patriotic of holidays made me a bit melancholy this year-I missed the fireworks, and the silly songs, and the mere presence of people who understand the fraught relationship of being a liberal American who, goddammit, is still proud to be one, most of the time (or at the very least is thankful for the rights and opportunities that have been afforded me by way of simply being born there). Plus, I love sparklers and cookouts. As we fell asleep last night, Jon whispered to me “I wonder where we’ll be next year”. And I really have no idea. But it would be nice to know that I have at least a few more nights of watching controlled explosions in the States before I forget who I am.