Lockdown: A taste of brine and the presence of the rocking, slopping bluegraygreen

A little behind again. I’m writing about Thanksgiving Day on early Saturday morning. It’s three minutes to eleven, practically the break of dawn.

I’m also listening to Mother Love Bone’s Apple LP (1990), maybe my favorite album from the 90s Seattle scene. If you were once into the Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam , Nirvana thing and haven’t checked it out, I recommend it highly. All these bands had great frontmen — Chris Cornell, Layne Staley, Eddie Vedder, and Kurt Cobain — but Mother Love Bone’s Andrew Wood might have been the best. He died a few days before Apple, the band’s debut album, was scheduled for release, and that was the end before the beginning. Terrible stuff.

Yeah, this means of the five bands I just named, four lead singers are dead.

I slept in on Thursday, as everyone should. Forced myself up at 10:30 because I had a noon pickup for the Thanksgiving dinner I ordered from Jolene’s Market. It took me all that time and then some to get ready. I really didn’t want to be out and about. I wanted to be sprawled in my bed with the football games on in the next room while I drifted into and out of consciousness.

I got to Jolene’s at quarter to one (sign-ups were spaced an hour apart, so I thought I’d let the eager twelve o’clockers get there first, then get my stuff ahead of the one o’clockers. None of it really mattered because they were backed up like crazy, causing a bit of a jam on Beretania just past Mauna Kea. I parked at the curb in a no-parking zone (with several others) and slithered my way past far too many people inside the restaurant to be informed that it would be a while. They were waiting on my mashed potatoes.

It was about a forty-five minute wait, which didn’t bug me. Being in a rush on Thanksgiving Day ruins the day, you know? I didn’t feel comfortable at all waiting inside, though, so I was out in the very warm sun. Could have been raining, though, so whatever. They gave us pagers to let us know when we could pick up our stuff, and now that I think of it, I would much have preferred they text me on my phone. You’re tethered to a short radius with those pagers. I could have wandered Chinatown Cultural Plaza, or Chinatown, or just up and down River Street if not for the pager. I’m definitely going to suggest this to them for next year when I email them to let them know what a great meal it was.

It was a nineteen-pound roast turkey with a ridiculous amount of food for sides. Mashed potatoes, Chinese chicken salad, rolls, gravy, chow mein, stuffing, and a whole custard pie. I took the whole thing to my parents’ so we could split it up. I would much rather have split it at my place then taken them half, but I didn’t want them to feel they were getting my leftovers. So we unrapped it all on their dining table and split the food up, all wearing masks, and chatted for a while. I was there too long, but I was also there so they felt like we had something like a Thanksgiving, so I think maybe it was worth it. It won’t have been if one of them gets sick, though.

I took everything home except the pie. I’ve been eating way too much pie lately, so I left them the whole thing.

On my way to my folks’, I was struck by how few cars there were on the roads. This made me think maybe the beach was sparsely populated, so I changed quickly and zoomed off to Ala Moana. Parking seemed a bit scant, but holy cow. I must have had great timing because the best parking spot, the one I seldom get even when I get there at five in the morning, was wide open.

I shuddered at the sight of volleyball players playing on the sand courts, but slithered (again) my way through people on the beach and dove into the water, which I had practically to myself at four o’clock in the afternoon and it was beautiful and glorious and refreshing and well with my soul.

I could feel the lack of exercise in every part of my body, so I went about half my accustomed distance, but I alternately took it very slowly and moderately quickly, then floated for a bit and dove for a bit and mostly just really enjoyed being salty and wet. Geez. By the time I got out of the water, people were leaving, so I considered hanging out for a while and then diving back in for one last soak, but I was a little worried about the turkey I left on my table. I put it in my cooler to keep it away from critters, but I was still concerned ants would find a way in.

Stopped at a local liquor store for a 24-ounce Corona and a bottle of Maker’s Mark, which I’d never had. Let me tell you, the stuff is very popular, and it smells totally delicious, but it has a pretty gross finish lingering for days. I’m going to try it in mixed drinks but I have a feeling I’ll just be passing the bottle to someone else. I just took another whiff and mmmm. I’m hoping it mixes better than it goes down neat or straight (yeah, I tried it both ways).

My half turkey was totally fine, so I made myself a ridiculous plate of food, went to town until I was stuffed while I read the news, and took a short nap.

The NaNoWriMo Skype was attended by only three or four of us, but we wrote. I struggled at first, then right before midnight something clicked and I finished with 2500+ words. Decent words.

Collapsed into bed at about half past five in the morning.

I got a Happy Thanksgiving greeting from Crush Girl when I came out of the ocean. That was nice. I also got Thanksgiving greetings from Jennifer and Vicky, then sent one to my sister. My uncle and I traded a couple of DMs in IG.

I had cold pizza for breakfast. It didn’t sit well at all, and I had some bad acid reflux. It’s one reason I didn’t dive into my Thanksgiving dinner until after the beach. I just wasn’t in the mood to chase that with anything. Dinner was all that. I didn’t even go for a late-night plate of seconds, just had a couple of clementines for a late dessert.

It was a good day, and I’m glad I was forced to get out of bed and over to my parents’ house. This is just how it’s like for me, most of the time, no matter who I’m supposed to see. I have to make myself go, and then I have a nice time. You’d think that would make it easier the next time, but it never does.

I’m going to throw a few things into a glass with ice and some Maker’s, and toast to the well-being of us all in these waning days of this crappy year. I’m thankful for my family’s continued good health and for digital connectedness with friends and crushes. If you need some of that, leave a comment and I’ll give you my contact details. Don’t drift untethered through a pandemic daze.

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