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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Look at Me: I'm Thankful (Again)

365 days ago, I let my small corner of the blogging world know that, on Thanksgiving Day, 2009, I was thankful for my undershirts.

Aren't I clever?

This year, I don't know what it is, but I'm not feeling especially clever. Or witty. Or funny. Or subversive. Actually, I don't know exactly how I'm feeling as I start to type this post, which is always a little dangerous, because I have no idea how this post is going to turn out.

And, honestly-- I kind of like that. It's pretty much the only risk I take in life. Besides speeding-- and I speed in a Volvo, so it's almost not even that risky anyway. Speeding in a Volvo is a bit like having bareback sex with a photograph of a prostitute.

Thanksgiving is a tricky time for renowned cynics and muttering bastards the world over, and I struggle with it, too. On the one hand, it's predictable and cloying-- inspiring some of us to pen odes to our undershirts. On the other hand, as a nation that takes everything, from its oxygen to its Blackberries for granted, a little dose of Rockwellism once a year couldn't really damage us too irreparably.

It wouldn't hurt this generation to bow its head and hold hands around that anachronistic thing called a dining room table-- not one little bit.

I've undergone a lot of changes between the Thankgiving of my 29th year, and that of my 30th. The smarmy, winking little brat in me wants to be funny and light this year, to poke holes in and poke fun at tradition and syrupy Little House on the Prairie idealism-- and the burgeoning adult in me wants to cry and hold my family, people who unbelievably seem to grow more distant and unfamiliar every week-- or is it month? I forget.

What I can't forget is that I am both the punk and the idealist, I am the smiling bugger and the thin-lipped grandfather-in-training-- always thinking, obsessing over what is right and what is expedient, and how to tow the line between the two. Or if I should. And what would it matter if I never decide to make the choice at all?

While I was writing this meandering mess, it popped into my head that I ought to be thankful for my sanity, a notion that has crystalized now that I work at a mental hospital. Sorry-- "crisis center," let's be politically correct, if we can stand it. I've now worked there long enough to see patients get discharged and re-admitted multiple times, and, even sadder, I've worked there long enough to see names from my ancient past, and not-so-ancient past, on the admitting sheet, and I have chatted with these gowned ghosts in the halls, and I know that, for one synapse misfiring, or not, it could have been me. Without the I.D. badge, without the keys. And that is enough to make anyone bow his brown-haired head at the dining room table.

Of course, I'm still thankful for my undershirts. Even the ones I've had to force myself to throw out between this year and the last.

Happy Thanksgiving, my dears.

1 comment:

  1. I'm thankful that a fellow Volvo owner says things like this: "Speeding in a Volvo is a bit like having bareback sex with a photograph of a prostitute." Gawd, I love this blog.


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