Latebreaking Thanks

November 27th, 2004 · No Comments · Writing

Our Thanksgiving was unfamiliar and different this year, unlike any other either of us has experienced before. Usually, we are surrounded with family, packed into one house and spilling out. Some of us gather around to watch the boys. Others of us gather at kitchen counters, cutting celery, mashing yams, talking idly about not much.

Usually, we go on long afternoon walks through the crisp air and shuffle through piled leaves. We end up in fours and fives playing Spades by the fire. We crowd onto a pull-out couch or on the floor. We wake up ready to be alone for a while, and so we might sit on the porch in the early morning, listening to birdsongs, but by the time someone’s made coffee and cinnamon rolls, we’re ready for more visiting.

This year, we woke on Thanksgiving in a hotel room by the beach, and opened the shades to let the bright light glinting off the blue sea do its morning work. Later, we walked along the harbor, looking at the cheerful boats belonging to people with far too much money. We ate bagels and drank coffee while runners in shorts and white shirts with numbers raced amid the shouts of a bullhorn monitoring a local Turkey Trot.

We walked out to the rocky point and stared at the blank blue sea and played a new game. We took turns proposing an impossible scenario we would never, ever be involved in, and the other person had to tell a story that would make that situation plausible. Murray would never climb the outside of the Eiffel Tower all the way to the top, and I was hard-pressed to find a motive to get him in rappelling gear.

I said that I would never, ever cross the ocean in a sailboat, and so Murray told me a long tale about how, let’s say, we were framed for a murder that we did not commit, and the only way to clear our names was to chase the real murderer, who was fleeing in a sailboat across the ocean. No go, said I, because I would rather go to prison as an innocent than risk an ocean voyage.

If I had a boat, I’d go out on the ocean, and if I had a pony, I’d ride him on my boat. And we would all together, go out on the ocean. Me upon my pony on my boat.

I am thankful for a chance to learn a thing or two about what I value the most.

Category: Writing

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