There was something mysterious about you, a curiosity that blossomed into more of a concern when you showed me the Glock under your pillow and the roll of six thousand dollars in your dresser drawer. Then there was that time you explained how you kept blank paper from every year, in case you needed to backdate a document and said document would be verified by a court. That we were both enrolled in law school, taking the same ethics class, was totally lost on you. And yet I fell in love. It was a delightful pairing, one others commented about. But after a few months, you announced you were leaving me for your ex-girlfriend. I was crushed, listening to Inconsolable on repeat and subsisting on iced tea. But for as tragic as the experience was, I’m thankful you passed through my life “It all works out for the best,” you said as I sobbed in the passenger seat. Those simple words have gotten me through many a dark moment.
Sitting in your freshman English class, I always felt silly smart. Everything I wrote received high praise and glowing remarks. My confidence grew and eventually I started writing short stories for fun. I’d sit at my desk, the soft glow of a lamp illuminating the keyboard, pecking away as my roommate slept. When the semester drew to a close, I excitedly announced my intention of becoming a writer. “You can’t be a writer. You have to be a writer that teaches. Otherwise you’ll starve,” you explained. I immediately sidelined my writing aspirations, and for that I’m thankful. Because if you hadn’t discouraged me, I would have never had the chance to spend the last decade working side by side with my father. And more importantly, I’m certain I would have never become the writer I am today.
As a kid, I tormented you to tears. I’d say your classmate was prettier. I’d back my ass into your doorway, fart, and then dance around singing that I wasn’t in your room. How you agreed to share a bed with me on family trips is a wonder. But as we got older, a close friendship developed. You showed me that six-month old pasta is still edible as long as the Tupperware seal is tight and you taught me the trick to giving a great blow-job. Mom and dad would be so proud. You cheer me on from the sidelines and you pick me up when I stumble. I am not always easy to deal with but you stick around. You make me laugh until my sides ache and you provide some of the most profound comments one can make about the Real Housewives of (insert city here). I’m thankful for everything you’ve given me, including a hefty serving of that disgusting green bean casserole you served two Thanksgivings ago. Just promise me you aren’t serving that this year.
You have given me a forum, a presence, in a community of strangers. Sometimes you have shunned me, my honesty and my opinions making me vulnerable and open for attack. Other times you have brought me comfort and warmth when I felt nothing more than conflicted and alone. Earlier this year I walked away from you. But when life hit the skids I came crawling back. You welcomed me with open arms, no questions asked. I write because I have something to say, but I strive to write better because of you. As I said to Crist last week, one of these days I’m going to win the lottery. And when I do, I’m taking a grand tour to visit each and every one of my readers. That way I can properly say thank you.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!