December 1, 2008

On Old Favorites and Mimosas

This post has sucked a lot out of me the past four days. It's a post about Thanksgiving. A holiday devoted to food. On a blog. A blog about food. Er, can you please remove the weight from my shoulders, please? For a woman who sometimes suffers from an empirical drive to document her surroundings Bill Clinton-style (hint, hint: his autobiography was 1008 pages long!), a simple post about Thanksgiving has totally wrecked me. To avoid writing this post, I experimented with every act of avoidance possible. I dusted my mantle. I played find-the-glow stick with my raver cat for, like, 7 hours. Hell, I even made soup! And you know how I feel about soup!

Yes, I've been driven to the verge, baby.

How does one even begin to summarize 2 days of planning; 10 hours of drinking; and 48 hours of feasting on delectable, wholesome, tried-and true, labor-intensive, goddamn-I-feel-my-arteries-singing food?

And even before the feast, how do I begin to describe the sensation of traveling 2,200 miles to a home I left 4 months ago--not my mom-and-pop-drinkin'-eggnog-in-front-of-the-fireplace home (although that reality would now include step-moms and step-dads), but a new home. Flagstaff, Arizona. The first place I was able to call home after studio-jumping from city to city for 3 years. The home where some of my closest friends are--human-friends and dog-friends alike! A place where, two years ago, I celebrated Thanksgiving away from my home-home for the first time and finally felt like an adult...kinda. A place where I will never feel like an adult.

And, how do I also describe the cavernous sense of loss I sometimes experience in that home? Even though it is a home dizzyingly full of pillows and long-haired cats and full moons and cute forestry boys, it is also a home where we have lost people who we loved dearly.

Ahh, a Flagstaff Thanksgiving: the blur of spills, the flavorful textures. The flashes of friends from bed. The drinks in their hands. The Turkish friend who posed eagerly with a turkey tendon stretched from mouth to bird. The Canadian linguist friend who woke early to baby the bird until it turned into a new thing entirely. Two generous friends who shared a secret. The lemon meringue pie that changed my opinions on lemon meringue pies. The best friend whose intelligence and sense of style (I mean, hello Clinton and Stacey!) is admired by everyone who meets her. A best friend who is everything.
The dog-friend who just might be the only non-human friend my cat will ever have. My button wanting to pop into constellations if I don't stop eating soon! The super-smart libertarian friend who makes the free market sound like the best sex you'll ever have. The brain hazy with mimosas and images of pilgrims drinking mimosas. The people who aren't there...but are there, too. And the Pennsylvania sweetcorn we now make and enjoy not because it tastes good (even though it does taste good!) but because he thought it tasted good. And we never questioned his sense of taste.
And my brain is/was kinda fuzzy because that's how we have to approach this day: to spit our mimosas from the kitchen to the mountain outside and say thanks for this meal that keeps everything together.


Breedale said...

Wow! Very poetic and witty. I love your commentary so much. I know how difficult it must be to head back to the place from whence you came. I am happy you were able to spend time with such great friends in such a great place and I thank you for sharing it with us.

Hadley Gets Crafty said...

I'm missing Flagstaff, too. I never thought I'd see the day. I think it's winter. I LOVED the Flagstaff winter. And I lived there for eight years. That's long enough to make the landscape part of my bones. I see the mountains when I close my eyes, sometimes. Today I catalogued a book with a picture of that stretch of land to the north of 180 when you're driving to the Canyon. My throat closed up and I couldn't breathe.

Chicago is starting to hem me in a little. Everyone seems filled with such drudgery. I'll get beyond it, I'm sure. Or I'll move to Alaska.

I left without those close friends, though. They had all since moved to places where life is easier and the sun isn't so threatening. It's the landscapes that haunt me. And it's every damn landscape I've ever spent time in: the Mongolian steppes, the Tibetan plateu, all of Arizona and New Mexico, the Kentucky River, and, eventually, the Chicago skyline, I'm sure.

Anyway, I'm glad you had a good Thanksgiving. I'm also glad to hear things are going well with some of our friends.

The Furie Queene said...

This post made me miss you so much.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute to our hedonistic celebration!

We were ecstatic that you came "home" and made the holiday so special - you guest of honor, lady of the hour, VIP, treasured friend!

I'm also glad you posted the olive recipe - it was surprising, flavorful and spectacular!

Have you tried the corn since you've been back?

Love, Emily