Nov. 24, 2007
Thanksgiving: a time to be with family and friends, a time for me to be by myself. Oddly enough, I was looking forward to it. I wasn’t worried about being alone, and felt no need to be with anyone. I knew my step-kids would be at their mom’s house. I remembered all those times they had to be at their dad’s house for every other holiday, and then at their mom’s house, and then it became a game of trying to be in both places for a little while on the same day. I wasn’t going to add to that, even though their dad was probably still overseas. Anyway, no need for me to create a big dinner either. I bought myself some crabcakes the night before and some frozen raw shrimp. I figured I’d have those on Thanksgiving, but ate all the crabcakes.
I dreamt on Thanksgiving morning: I was sharing a house or apartment with Karen. She wasn’t there. Some people came to the door looking for her. I either took them to her room, or went there after they left. Karen had cats in her room, and I did need to check on them, and verify Karen wasn’t there. When I opened the door, I could see all these cats, adults and kittens, staring at me. All of them were identical: white cats with identical red, yellow and green markings. (Not this rude Japanese Lucky Cat). The curvature of the colorful line markings somehow gave the cats the appearance of dragons. Perhaps a memory of manga and anime? (And no, it wasn’t a fruit-helmet cat either.) Karen is very fond of anime, manga, and dragons too. One of her cats is named Anime. I was so impressed by the dream that I wrote it down in an email, and sent it to Karen. No reply, of course.
Later on, I went for a walk along the ditch. This time I jumped into the empty ditch to see what I would see from that perspective. I found what looked like a blue crab claw. From the size, it had to be a crayfish claw. I was amazed – had no idea those lived in there. I put it in my pocket and walked on, but saw someone walking along the ditch. She had a dog with her. From a distance, I wasn’t sure, but it looked like it could be my old girl friend, from 25 years ago, and that’s who it turned out to be. She lives in the same condo complex I live in. I’ve spoken with her a few times. No attraction there for me, but she is friendly. I’ve run into her going to the coffee house on Sunday, but she just goes for a bagel, and takes it back to her place. In the summer, I saw her in shorts, and noticed faint scarring all over her legs. I thought it might be evidence of some sort of protein deficiency like kwashiorkor, marasmus, or even cirrhosis. I remember something about liver function being disrupted in alcoholics, and there being visible signs of protein deficiency, like scarring on the extremities. I don’t know for sure. She could be protein deficient for some other reason. Her problem with alcohol was very acute a long time ago; she used to keep a water bottle full of Vodka by her bed. Often, in the middle of the night, after she’d called me to come over, and we’d had sex, I’d hear her gulping, gulping, gulping and assumed she was very thirsty. One day I helped her clean out a nest of Vodka bottles under her sink, but it never occurred to me she had a problem with alcohol. She seemed fine. Years later she admitted a problem, got help, and said she stopped drinking any alcohol whatsoever. The condition of her legs made me wonder if she had continued drinking after all. I haven’t pursued a renewal of that old relationship since moving in here. However, we stopped to talk. She asked me what I was doing later, and when I told her “nothing” she invited me to a mutual friend’s house for a Thanksgiving dinner later. I said I might, after I got back from my walk. She wanted to go early in case it snowed, so I hadn’t time for a leisurely stroll as is my usual practice. She confirmed that people around here do catch and eat the crayfish in the ditches.
I took a few pictures of the dry ditch and eventually came to a point where I needed to climb out, and found myself hurrying along. Funny how these crayfish get swept into the ditches, but get left high and dry when winter comes. I decided to suffer human company after all. I would get back in time to go with her, or go about the same time if we went separately, since we hadn’t made a clear plan, and she’d given me the address. As it was, I got back in time, steamed up the shrimp and added it to some strange grain/rice dish she’d picked up at the food coop. She drove. We enjoyed the dinner a lot. Instead of eating sensibly like I thought, at home by myself, I ended up eating turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, the grain/rice dish, and pumpkin pie. Sigh. My stomach bulged, but I thought I’d taken only small portions. Good political discussions, and there were kids there too, courtesy of another mutual friend. Very cute kids. It was as much of a family gathering as one could possibly hope for. We said goodnight when we got back, and she asked if I wanted to go to a similar such gathering Xmas Eve. I just might.
In the meantime, I picked up some firewood today, maybe enough for two or three fires. I met a guy a month ago who said he’d sell me a cord for $180, but I don’t have that right now. As soon as I get paid, I’ll call him. Right now, there’s a fire going, and there’s no TV on! It’s wonderful. My chair faces the fireplace, not the TV set. I can warm my aching feet when I get home. I can heat this place up now, since the hot-water-blower system isn’t doing much, and it’s not even all that cold yet. I don’t want to use electric heaters – have no idea how much that’ll cost! If a cord of wood will get me through the winter, I’m all for it. Good hot fires with dry wood don’t create that much smoke.