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 kitchen...to table...to kitchen...to 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.