I’m thankful for that woman in Alabama who was so wrong for me. Wasn’t it just two months from that night — sobbing without control in front of my brother, his wife and my brother’s friend about how mistaken I’d been — that this wondrous woman entered my life? This woman pictured above . . . my playmate for life.
I’m thankful for tech. All of it. Even when I’m sucked into it. Tech and its advances allow me to whisper to you now from this keyboard. Wherever you are, you and I are joined this moment by tech.
I’m thankful for my forever friends. I’m thankful for the newbies too. (I’m looking at you, G-man). Yassir, I am. I’m thankful for the ephemeral connections I can’t really call friends; they’re more like points of tangency. Glorious glancings of non-orbiting entities. Who needs riches when interactions are so enriching?
(For example: My Gil friend, who delights in running out the time on my voicemail the way I delight in torturing him with godawful song on his.)
I’m thankful, Mountain Dew, for all those years we had together, you and I. We had a thing. I’d like to think it was special for you too. Anyway, I’m thankful I abandoned you this year. I’m relieved in fact. I thought I couldn’t quit you, but na na na na na, I could!
Yet I’m thankful my Ras friend still calls me Dew . . .
Oh Lordy I’m thankful for my crazy Mom (MomJo!) (Because this generation’s grandparents refuse to be called Grandma or Grandpa . . .) She’s got the energy of a teenager in heat. An elf on the lam. She can pry loose the backstory from the tightest-lipped stranger. And delight in the now like Eckhart Tolle can only dream of.
I’m thankful for lizards in the tropics. Especially the anoles — rhymes with canoli(s) — who summit a rock, a stone, a garden hose and, head high, explode a crisp orange crescent moon of tissue from mid-neck! A mating thing, I’m sure. It fans out translucent. A flaming flag of flesh. Many was the time in my teens I could have used that trick.
I’m thankful for diners. Sweet Jehosophat I’m thankful for diners — and those who staff them. You light up my mornings.
I’m thankful for siblings I don’t quite deserve.
A sister who connects the far flung. I love her curious mind. Also, the way she fakes an interest in whatever my babblement of the moment is. She knew what quoins are without having to look it up. How to pronounce it too. Like coins. Exactly like coins. No kwuh sound at all. Plus — get this — she sends me Charticles — her name is Charlene — articles about the most random subjects — that never fail to draw me in.
And a brother who inspires me to live higher than my highest best. Because he does it like a dancer propels through the air, seemingly effortlessly, expansively, with unforced style.
I’m thankful for my recently dead Dad. Not an easy man to love. But isn’t that what we’re here for, to learn this simple thing? How to love gushingly even when it’s difficult. Even when we’re wounded? We’re all wounded anyway, maybe the prickly ones the most. Recognizing this helps something akin to love surface.
I’m thankful for dirt. Good dirt in particular, I’m keen to see flora thrive.
I’m thankful for my joy boy Zane. Who I traumatize daily by calling by any name that starts with a Z: Zonk, Zebediah, Zekiel (you have to play loose with the rules), Zoolander, Zoooom, Zarathustra, Zabbadabbadoooo, Zinc, Zazoo. Sometimes just Z. I learn more from him than he does from me. Not a bad gig, parenting one such as he.
I’m thankful for the idea of splurge day. Whoever thought up cheat days is genius! The three I just had in a row is not part of the equation I’m guessing, but this week of Thanksgiving I’m living in an alternate universe where that kind of math adds up.