Wednesday, November 25, 2009

november, twenty-six

Ah, Thanksgiving. Feast day before the long, cold lonely winter. Fraudulent holiday of subjugation and cornua copiae. Enforced family bonding experience. Apex of the afternoon nap.

Who can begin to explain what a holiday means—or how to catch one in the ether of American commercialism. In the racks devoted to canned pumpkin and cloves? The pushers and shovers in the Whole Foods shit show, elbowing their way to crown roasts and pre-reserved turkeys? The resurgence of the Starbucks holiday lattes?

Truth be told, it doesn't matter. We change, the world changes; nothing stays the same every time around the calendar. Your place at the table varies from year to year, and the only constant is that hidden place you prod around for in your chest, the one in which you keep your secrets, the catalogue of all your holiday histories. Find that button and press it—and suddenly you're eight again, unwrapping a baby doll over Black Forest cake, wearing bright white tights and an idiotic headband.

It never hurts to dress up and sit down together like this, to walk into a kitchen and remember the smell. The people change from year to year, but you keep them in that place all the same. One smell in one kitchen will bring back another. And no matter who you're with, it's always a little lonely. For all of us.

How fancy for me then, to have a birthday that perpetually coincides with such a day . . .

What I will say is this: no matter how isolated I make myself, sometimes Peter Pan is my life raft. Here I am, only twenty minutes into my twenty sixth year, and already he has presented me with a gift and a windowsill full of flowers. Not to mention the emergency grilled cheese night at Sanford's. We should all be so lucky to have such a friend. The kind who knows what you need without having to ask.

So, Happy Thanksgiving. I wish you all a warm and pleasant turkey coma. And, one of these days, I will hope to feel whole and not just full come Friday morning.

1 comment:

Elizabeth J. Mercer said...

You will obviously find that some day. :)