Thanksgiving dinner. It would be better freshly-baked, but Domino’s Pizza is not open on Thanksgiving Day, so we ordered the pizzas last night. One for Thanksgiving Eve dinner, one for the actual Day’s celebratory meal. Re-heated Thanksgiving Day pizza is a delicacy available to only a few.

Many people are unaware that Thanksgiving Eve is a thing. Well, it is. Or it can be. Every day can be a holiday. It’s simply a matter of manipulating one’s perception of the calendar. You just have to believe. If you put enough faith in the Thanksgiving Fairy, he will visit the night before the actual Day. And he will come bearing culinary gifts. Two supreme pizzas, to be specific. He will be chatty, explaining that it took a little longer than usual to make the delivery because he had several other Thanksgiving Eve deliveries to make.

I hope it is not too early to start talking about Christmas. Whether it is or not, I will do just that. I have chosen to believe, again this year, in Santa’s Stand-In, too, an elf who lived just down the street from me when I was a wee child. Santa’s Stand-In was born Julio Ensueño in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. An inadequate diet and environmental deficiencies left him with a rather stunted body; only four feet, two inches tall at maturity. But he overcame those challenges to become one of Santa’s favorite elves. One of my fondest childhood memories involves visits by Julio Ensueño, AKA Santa’s Stand-In, who came to our house every Christmas Eve. We left bowls full of carne guisada for him and he, in turn, left several dozen pork & jalapeño tamales, along with chile con queso and a six-pack or two of cerveza Doz Equis for us. It was obvious from the several empty bottles he left behind that he enjoyed beer with his meal.  Thanks to my bodily decay, I can no longer enjoy the cerveza Doz Equis but I can break the rules a bit and eat a few tamales and chile con queso. I’ll be satisfied if he will bring only the tamales. I can make the chile con queso (I prefer mine to his, actually). But making tamales is too much work without several co-conspirators. I sincerely hope Julio makes his way to the Village this year.


The bone is not broken. It’s simply that the clavicle is attached to tendons and ligaments that are equal to its age. And what’s left of the cartilage between bones and other skeletal tissue is just as old and not as capable of performing its functions as it was when it was young and strong. A course of steroids, which begins with six temporally-spaced pills today and tapers down over several days, may provide temporary relief; so said the nurse. She told me a severe shortage of rheumatologists is the reason getting appointments scheduled is such a lengthy process. While I do not doubt there is a shortage of rheumatologists, I seriously doubt that fact makes writing in a name on a scheduling calendar is especially time-consuming. They expect me to accept irrational excuses. Actually, I have little choice but to accept any excuse they give me. I hope the steroids work, especially in light of the nurse’s admonition to take care not to take too many Motrin, which could damage my kidneys.


The forecast calls for rain. Heavy rain, tapering off to a constant but lighter downpour later in the day. I do not know whether to believe them. It’s not that I think they lie, it’s just that weather is such an incredibly complex phenomenon that predicting its every move is almost like reading tea leaves or constructing nuclear refrigerators. I hold meteorologists in high regard; not all of them, mind you, but some of them. They communicate with Zeus and Neptune and various other officials of the natural world; I am not sure whether they give instructions to the gods or just take orders, but whatever they do, it’s damn near magical. One thing I know for certain meteorologists do is this: they create every single individual snowflake that falls. They design them, manufacture them, and distribute them globally. It’s true. I’ve watched them throughout the process. If you’re extremely nice to me, I’ll bring you along to witness the spectacle. Just don’t mention this to anyone else. It could get out of hand.


The actual Day has begun. See?

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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