Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Friday, November 26, 2004

The Real Thanksgiving

You know, that last, lackluster entry didn't even come close to describing what an incredible day I had yesterday.

The first thing you have to know is that there's nothing I love more than cooking a large, traditional meal for a large number of people. Traditions touch something so deep within me, I can't even describe it. The best I can say is that they are, for me, the essence of what I would consider to be 'religion.' They are a way of connecting back to those who came before me, way back, all the way to the beginning. And they soothe me, satisfy me, in a way little else can.

And so yesterday, with a perfectly brined turkey in the oven, homemade to-die-for cranberry sauce in the fridge, asparagus sauteeing in garlic and lemon, and potatoes-to-be-mashed boiling in a large pot, I was "in my element," as Baroy put it to my beloved friend, G, when he commented on my rather brusque approach to asking for help. (Some call it ordering people around. I call it...ordering people around. But with a smile. And I always say thanks.)

Even better was knowing that some of the burden was being taken off of me by our "guests." I put that in quotation marks because everyone at the table that night played a major role in making the evening happen. So we were really all hosts, just congregating at my house.

Anyway, Tamar brought the aforementioned rosemary bread (which was both my breakfast and my lunch today) and a candied-yams-and-brandy dish that was perfection, and our former roommate and forever friends Glenn and Mark brought an incredible, improvised stuffing with bread and chestnuts and veggies, and it was magnificent both last night and tonight, when it served as a large part of my dinner again. And let's not forget my idiot savant of a husband, who makes the most incredible apple pies with pie crust that you could swear came from a bakery, but DOESN'T LIKE PIE AND CAN'T OTHERWISE COOK WORTH A DARN. It's bizarre, to say the least.

But as fabulous as the food was, it was the company that just had me glowing all night. Depression be damned. Anxiety be gone. I looked across my living room, where we'd moved our table for the feast and festivities, and saw all these interesting, wonderful people there. Tamar, Dan, and Damian. Mark and Glenn. My brother-in-law. Em, N, Baroy. Talking and laughing and eating. Giving thanks. It was one of those nights when you tell people that you love them, and you aren't embarrassed to do so. I just felt surrounded by warmth and acceptance and love. It was almost magical.

Truly magical--and down-right hysterical--was the after-dinner entertainment, courtesy of Damian, Em and N. A series of scenes--or, as Em called them, slides--in which our beribboned and costumed children presented themselves as royalty. Watching Damian, swallowed up by my big, cushy chair, regally order Em to "kneel" and "bring me some water," had both Tamar and me covering our mouths to stifle giggles. They were fabulous. There was much applause, and several curtain calls, sans curtains. We didn't pack it in until almost midnight, so enchanted were we by the kids and their games, and with our conversation, and with that feeling of cameraderie and introspection and acceptance that defined the evening for me.

This morning, I felt a sort of non-alcoholic hangover come over me. I felt let down. And so this afternoon I decided to start the Neuront*n that my psychiatrist prescribed on Tuesday to "take the edge off the anxiety and allow the FXor to do its work." And, um, well, maybe that is having a little bit of an effect on the effusiveness herein. Because, dude, I'm stoned. I know that this will wear off once the Neuront*n becomes a part of my routine and my body adapts to it, but man. I could feel a sort of relaxation actually travel down my limbs earlier. A warmth. I surrendered to it. I lit a fire in the fireplace, and settled down into my chair, and watched the flames flicker for I-don't-know-how-long. Now, however, it seems to be taking a U-turn; I seem to be taking a U-turn. It's not anxiety. But I'm a little bit hyper. Mellow, but hyper, if that makes sense. And hugging the memory of my Thanksgiving close to my chest.

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