A break from work or school or anything

is a vacuum of everything I

already know: Holidays move

farther away after the fact or closer still before,

depending; a few minutes or an hour or

a drink or two devoted to everything.

The drive home is about 8 albums or so, a flatline

through Ohio and Pennsylvania.

If cameras still had great flashing bulbs I’d be up early the

next day sweeping glass out the door hoping the cats

didn’t already hurt themselves – the new kitten I

haven’t seen yet. He was “traumatized” and

Boo! is his name.

It was/is supposed to be easy. It’s a vacation,

really. Bring the buds home to empty house for

Thanksgiving break.

The whole house I realize is much too large for the

three of us to live in we just

spread our sobriety thin over

the hardwoods, the teeming ashtrays, the thawing

turkey.

They have as

scattered parents as I, so we all feast

and smoke and drink and talk and sleep

over at my place for the weekend.

The coffee tables will never be the same I dream

at night fretting, alongside an

unfinished resume or a sleeping girl

whichever haunts me least.

But when you let one of your friends drive and you take the legless seat in the back with

the car’s only working speakers you know, you know you’ve

never been this happy.

Because happiness

is soul music or a cigarette

regardless if you and your friends are tense, still

learning how to love each other. Regardless

if you aren’t happy, if you’re ears are running

with blood from hip hop or

whatever’s on next.

Getting back to your other home is like

stepping into an unfamiliar room in the house

you grew up in. This time though there

are electric pianos, beer cans and indoor

pumpkins, roommates having sex, laughing

and playing the electric pianos and stomping

on the floors.

Attention: You are now 510 miles away from

the 10 lb. turkey you bought completely frozen

at 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving that you thawed by Saturday and

decided you didn’t want to deal with the guts

so you left it whole for your mother.

The woman at the

register, the bagger and the shopper who called my

friends and I out for being stoned shitheads

were all together softly laughing at us,

cracking easy jokes as we waited for the credit card to ring up,

as I realized there is absolutely

no difference

between a resume and a frozen turkey.

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