I am in Virginia. It is nice, cold, and boring. I was expecting a low-key Thanksgiving this year, but this was about as low key as you could possibly get. My mom and sister picked me up from the metro station last night and stopped at Blockbuster on the way home to rent a bunch of videos to watch this week.
Out of all the Blockbusters in suburban Virginia to stop at, we stop at the one that I used to work at, the one that Sarah used to work at, that one that I quit working at without notice, the one with people still working at it that I had no desire whatsoever to see. I pouted (sp?) and said I was going to wait in the car, that I could not go in there. And fuck me, and fuck stupid Blockbuster. I waited in the car, thinking of how lame I was being, how lame this trip was already turning out to be - and then my family made it exponentially lamer by coming out with the worse movies ever, half of which I had already seen. Spider-Man, Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Cleopatra, Ocean's Eleven, Monty Python and some other movie that made me cringe when they finally made it back to the car.
Then we went grocery shopping for snack foods because we were not having a turkey, because as my mom told me we were just going to eat snacks and watch movies on Thanksgiving. I am a traditionalist I am finding out. This idea shocked me - this is just not how Thanksgivings are supposed to happen. My mom said that there was no point in cooking a turkey since neither me or my sister eat meat, and she was really excited about the movies and snacky foods idea. I then came out to my mother in the crowded grocery store. Not about being a homo which she most definitly already knows by now, but about eating meat. So many people turned and stared at us when my mom reacted to this, saying "WHAT?! YOU ARE EATING MEAT!!!" etc. etc. My mom had picked up a thing of stuffing only to put it down saying it had turkey broth in it. I said So. And from there, I told my mom that I ate meat - and this was shocking because ever since I became a vegetarian at 14, I was the biggest asshole refusing to eat anything with any meat products in it - and for me to just mention that I now eat meat so casually just sent my mom into loud aghasts. It was actually really funny. She then asked me if I wanted a turkey, and I said no no no.
This morning, I was woken up bright and early to go hiking at Great Falls, which was actually a wonderful way to spend Thanksgiving. When we reached the falls, my sister made a comment, saying how beautiful it was. And it made me cringe because what she wanted to say was true, but language couldn't work, it sounded sentimental, like what you are supposed to say. But what her intents were, what inspired them, the sublime qualities of the scene were true, and I will leave it at that since I too will fail. All I will say is that walking those trails along the Potomac, seeing fallen leaves all around me, feeling the nippy ear creep through my hat, reaching my ears was a wonderful thing, making me thankful for things I fail to notice sometimes, made me appreciate life.
I saw quite a few dogs. I wanted to be one, so goddamn happy and in love with it all - as soon as I escape Sarasota and settle somewhere I am getting a dog, a big fucking slobbery one. That is Life Goal #1.
We then ate all the side dishes of Thanksgiving, stuffing, salad, mashed potatos, etc. and watched movies and it was so pleasant in its informality. Conversation though was the same, not as informal as I would like. My sister asked me how school was going, what I wanted to do when I graduated. And I burped and said I didn't want to talk about it. She asked again. I said live somewhere and work, just like everyone else. And fuck it - I do not want to think about these things. I want to masturbate, listen to music, and occasionally get my rocks off with other people, and if I am lucky enough, with attractive people. But, this is not really the type of thing you can say to your family, and so I just burp, shrug my shoulders and say who cares, because who fucking does, because I do and don't want to.
Because, there is Bruce Springsteen and when driving back from Great Falls, the classic rock station played Side 1 of Born to Run. And the title track came on at the end of the side, and I lost myself, hearing lyrics that I have heard a million times before, but feeling them, understanding them in what seemed (and therefore was!) a brand new way that I never had. A brand new song! Bruce songs are like that, where I hear lyrics that I never really heard before, or which I never actually let register - and "Born to Run" was so right-on today as we were driving home down I-95. Baby this town rips the bones from your back / It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap / We gotta get out while we're young / Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run .... and then at the end, Bruce invites me [and you too] to run away with him, he knows how I feel, how we do, he gets it: Together [Charlie] we'll live with the sadness / I'll love you with all the madness in my soul / Someday [boy] I don't know when / we're gonna get to that place / Where we really want to go / and we'll walk in the sun / But till then tramps like us / baby we were born to run!! And, I am so so thankful for that, for being able to ride in a minivan down 95 with my family and to be able to sing along to "Born to Run" with them, to dream of running, to fucking do it, and to know that we'll get to "that place." That fucking place that I thought about while reexamning my bookshelf last night, picking up books that once held meaning and religious import to me, reading highlighted lines from these Beats, feeling it again, dreaming of that place, feeling the promise of life.