I had two thanksgivings last year. One with a neighbor, an older (?) lonely seeming My first Thanksgiving last year happened with my neighbor across the hall, (under Everett's apartment). We, my neighbor, and I cooked together, in her kitchen, the first traditional Thanksgiving dinner I have ever helped cook. (Other than desserts, which I am very good at, but which we did not have this time, food still being quite an issue at the time.) She taught me how to make a roux (which I was ashamed of not knowing, - coming from Louisiana). She made a turkey, which I still don't know how to do, although she had me come over to witness the steps. She sugar basted and baked apples and butternut squash together with nutmeg.
I made cornbread (being a baker), and successful cornbread dressing, and enjoyed the crackling process of boiling down cranberries with cinnamon and cloves and orange zest and - yes - Splenda. And I steamed broccoli (a safe food), but with lemon olive oil. And we had wine. Mine diluted. In very pretty delicate glasses I found in a thrift shop for four dollars.
It was lovely. If the cameras were real - it should have been recorded.
The second Thanksgiving dinner was disorganized. I had exchanged phone numbers with one of my "roommates" at the hospital, a beautiful thin 40-something year old Korean woman, who'd tried to hang herself, because she couldn't handle being recorded all the time. She had cameras too - but they were real. - I went to her apartment building to find her when she couldn't find me me. She was living in a boarding house, above a porn shop, with real cameras you could see in the hallways. Security cameras.
She'd been spending her time making beaded necklesses for the pope - until she thought the attention from her would harm him. So she wanted to teach me to do what she did , so giving them to him would be OK. I know where she got the beading part from, because supervised bead-work was one of our optional activities at the hospital - like making moccasins too. She had given me one of her moccasins because she hadn't done it right and thought I could fix it. I still have it.
Anyway she had a cell phone, and we eventually found each other the day after Thanksgiving, after I'd been let into her building - where she wasn't. And she invited a man who'd also been recently released - to my apartment, for a day after Thanksgiving Thanksgiving.
I had been attracted to the man in the hospital. He had just been admitted when I was about to be released. I had only seen him in a gown, but he had an aura of intelligence about his paranoia that not everyone paranoid did. I don't remember his name. I didn't know it till the Korean woman (who'd named herself an Irish boy's name) told me.
I wasn't attracted to him at all when he came over to my apartment though. I did like him. He brought carrots in a can. (Sugared). The woman brought hummus, falafel, and couscous from a restaurant. And I had the left over turkey from my neighbor, with perfect roux gravy, and cornbread, and dressing leftovers, and new safe steamed broccoli. We ate on the floor with linen napkins for a tablecloth. I don't have a table. And we drank water.
It was the first time I had really eaten in I don't know how many months. And I was thankful. I was appreciative about my neighbor woman's Thanksgiving, but I was thankful for the happy, careful sweetness of the second one. I don't see my neighbor woman much, and I never saw the other two again, but I love all three.