Thanksgiving

photoMy 7AM jog smelled of roasting bird and frying garlic along with the usual gardenias and car exhaust.

After breakfast, my Mae and I made our way down a stretch of Valley Blvd. that is perennially sunbleached the color of dust. We passed the same auto repair shops and birrerias and gentlemen’s clubs we’d seen for the last nine days on our way to the hospital to see my dad.

Once again, spending time with the professionals at the hospital made me wonder why I didn’t pursue a career in medicine. Their competence never fails to shame me.

It’s been more than six months since I moved in with them. Sometimes my despair over the smallness of this life¬†smothers me¬†with its wet, woolen presence. The ugly duckling fears it has grown into nothing more than a duck.

But I just finished Beautiful Ruins and pocketed this pretty pebble from its pages:

A man wants many things in life, but when one of them is also the right thing, he would be a fool not to choose it.

We picked my dad up and brought him home with a paper bag full of medication, a rattling jumble of oversized Tic Tacs. I made him some rice porridge with fish for dinner. It’s my first Thanksgiving back in L.A., but we had no pumpkin pie; instead, we shared a bowl of unsalted popcorn.

Last night, I shifted the iron slug in my stomach over to make room for the many thanks I have.

4 comments

  1. Row

    Sometimes, the right thing is also the hardest thing to do. However, in the end, it is the right thing, and that’s all that matters. Glad that your dad is home from the hospital.

    Side note: I was reading your post in Feedly and for whatever reason, it changed “iron slug” to “ferrous weight”. I spent the better part of a minute trying to figure out if that it was sulfate, fumarate, or gluconate, then I realized I wasn’t at work.

  2. AliceM

    Why do we fear the small life? I do, as well. Is it an American thing to think that we must make a splash, leave a mark? Happiness eludes us, but we are satisfied as long as our sparks are bright. To embrace the small and complete seems to be against our nature. I wonder about that often.

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