It's Thanksgiving? Again, being in a land where they do not celebrate holidays that have always been a part of my calendar's cycle is quite odd. But, then, my whole internal calendar is off these days. I kinda like it.
I've got nothing to write about today. In fact, another odd thing about my life these days is that I seem to be out of conversational material. I'm not complaining, trust me! The reason that I have no conversational material is that my days go kinda like this: coffee, write, run, wine. My head is somewhere in the nineteenth century most of the time, either with the Big Guy and his ilk, or with the characters in whatever novel I'm listening to or reading. I get the 21st century in the morning, when I read headline news, or at the end of the day, when I read blogs. I get the 20th century after dinner, when I watch t.v. -- usually Friends reruns, because that's really really popular here -- and knit and drink wine. All in all, not bad; but if you try to hold a conversation with me, I will either sound like an undergraduate English major with no life (which, actually, I was in the late 1980s) or one like I'm having some sort of break with reality. I tend to call the latter my Big Guy Band Camp mode, like that girl in those horrible movies who started every conversation with, "this one time, at band camp," except I say, "this one time, the Big Guy said..."
Mostly, I have odds and ends rattling about my brain. These bits of thoughts have no connection to anything and are the sorts of things that shut down conversations -- and I'm really good at shutting down conversations. I am the Conversation Cooler.
One of the odds and ends has to do with the Kennedy assassination. Yeah, I know: huh? While I only vaguely follow news, I am also vaguely aware of certain bits, and the fact that Tuesday was the fifty-somethingith (I can't do math right now) anniversary of the Kennedy assasination was one of those bits. Back during the twentieth anniversary of the assasination -- give or take a year -- one of the networks aired a miniseries about JFK and Jackie. Blair Brown played Jackie. My mom cried and cried like a little baby at the end, and my dad, for once, had sympathy for her "girly" response. (Women's emotions were mocked in our family -- hence, I am fucked up.)
At the time, I didn't get it. Kennedy? Plus, that was a million years ago, wasn't it? Now, I realize that, at that moment, to my parents, who were younger than I am now, twenty years was just yesterday. That moment is now thirty years ago.
On Tuesday, too, I was listening to some old Bonnie Raitt, and what I consider a more recent song came up from her album Luck of the Draw. That album is now twenty years old. I listened to it incessantly when I first got it. In one of the songs, "Nick of Time," she says something about watching her parents age, but they also watch her age, and none of them know how to respond to that. At the time, I understood what she sang about; but I understood it as a description, as if you described to me a house that was two stories tall, brick, with four windows and a door. Now, I understand it as an experience, like standing in front of the house, or even inside of it.
They are spending Thanksgiving alone today. My first instinct was to think of them with pity, as if they were lonely, not being with their grandbabies. My dad in particular is very big on the Norman Rockwell image of family, no matter how fucked up the actual situation is in front of him. Then, I realized that this was probably the first Thanksgiving that they have had alone, as a couple, since before my birth. I try to imagine them as twenty-two year olds, newly married, out in west Texas. They are such babies, and they don't even know it yet. None of us ever do.