Politics Magazine

Thanksgivings, Present and Past

Posted on the 24 November 2012 by Erictheblue


Yesterday, while Amanda was whirling about the kitchen, I tried to be helpful by putting a load of clothes in the wash.  When a half hour later I went downstairs to make the transfer to the dryer, I was greeted by a pool of water on the laundry room floor.  Happy Thanksgiving!  "Well, it's not an emergency," says Amanda.  "Get your butt up here and start peeling potatoes."

But then, this morning, we discovered toilet paper pasted to the floor in an abstract pattern, and, floating near the floor drain, more alarmingly unpleasant matter.  Shit! Enough to make you envious of the Black Friday shoppers. 

For an evocative account of Thanksgivings past, I recommend this, James Wolcott's account of bucolic Amtrak rides from New York to Baltimore and then evenings of TV watching in a motel room.  These were accomplished during his bachelor days, which reminded me of all the Thanksgiving mornings I was on my own till, early in the afternoon, it was time to head out to the family feast.  Toward the end of this happily lonesome period I took to participating in a 5-kilometer "fun run" through downtown Minneapolis on Thanksgiving morning.   After one of them, I was having a hard time finding an open coffeeshop.  I finally tiptoed into one with an open door but no customer, or employee, in sight.  Almost immediately a small Chinese woman came out from the back.  Turns out, she was preparing Thanksgiving dinner for homeless people. Taking in my matted hair, stained gym bag, and tattered sweats, she concluded I was early and, refusing my money, set me up at a corner table with muffin and coffee.  Her English was not the greatest and I couldn't make her understand that I wasn't there for her dinner.  I guess the visual impression I made was more persuasive than my words.  When she bustled back to her kitchen, I was left alone with the book I had brought to read, which for some reason I still remember was a Library of America edition of Theodore Dreiser.  I sat there for an hour or so, reading and helping  myself to more coffee, then left a ten on the table and departed without ever seeing my benefactor again.  This was in Minneapolis's warehouse district, and I think the name of the place was Nikki's.  When I tried to go back during normal business hours, it was something else.

Happy Thanksgiving to my legions of devoted readers!

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