Nov 25, 2004

Thanksgiving is here. I know. But a TV dinner is okay. I am thankful it is a quiet day. I am not a family man. Even married I was not a family man. (I enjoy moments when I feel part of a family. Last year in Springfield, Mo. with Marlee. With Mary. Their families. I felt included and it was good.)

But my fantasies or more often indulged on the other end of the spectrum. The down-an-outer. Lonely guy on a lonely street, collar turned up to blunt the freezing rain.

The closest realized occurred also in Springfield. 1966. Southwest Missouri Collge. Closed for the holiday. My first fall there. Not yet engaged with any groups or new friends. I am on the sidewalk in empty downtown. A small corner drugstore. Open. I go in. One customer. A middle-aged lady sipping a coffee at the soda fountain counter. She has had a rough night. I take a counter stool. She ignores me. I ignore her. I order a coffee. Light a cigarette. Beside the cash register are the menus. Taped to the register is a hand-written sign: " Today's Special! Turkey Sandwich w/lettice. $1.29." I order one. To go. Spin around to look at the magazine rack nearby. Continue my smoke and coffee as the sandwich is being made. And I think...consciously think - and smile - "Enjoy this. This is one to remember. This is a good day."