courtyard Thanksgiving - Thursday November 25 1999
Danny & Nikki, the neighbors in the apartment directly across the courtyard, were having a big family Thanksgiving and lots of people were invited. Those of us amongst their neighbors who didn't go back to our families for the holiday (especially Kim, Jenna the German Girl and I) were invited to attend. Kim had been wondering what we were going to do today, so now we didn't have to wonder any more.
Right there in the courtyard, they'd set up tables end to end Pilgrim style, complete with a table cloth. They'd also prepared scads of finger food and had coolers full of beer. Danny was cooking turkeys using various methods, including deep-frying with an outdoor propane cooker. While conventional baking in a regular kitchen gas oven takes a good four hours, deep frying takes only 40 minutes. Basically it was your typical Thanksgiving, and we barely had to lift a finger. Kim contributed some wine and a pumpkin pie from a local French bakery, but all that slaving over a hot fire stuff was being handled by the neighbors.
There were various kids romping around, children of the invitees. Sophie was a natural target for their naïvely un-nuanced affection/brutality, but she would only abide so much before loudly voicing her discomfort. Danny & Nikki's dog, Sandy the Australian Shepherd was getting along just fine with Sophie until people started eating. At that point, jealousies and resentments quickly escalated to war, mostly of words.
Jenna the German Girl and I are still not on speaking terms because of things I said about her in this journal back in April. However, she was actually being something of a good sport, interacting with me secondarily, responding positively to some things I said generally to the group.
It was the first time I'd ever eaten a Thanksgiving dinner outside. But remember, all those depictions of the supposed "first Thanksgiving" at Plymouth Rock feature Pilgrims and Indians sitting harmoniously around rough-hewn Forest Service picnic tables right there on the Massachusetts coast.
Somehow I got sucked into watching the modern remix of Star Wars (Episode 4, the one where Obi Wan is killed by Darth Vader) on cable teevee. I observed Mark Hamill's wooden acting technique actually rubbing off on the far more talented Harrison Ford. Part of the problem was the appalling dialogue written by George Lucas.
As we were going to sleep, Kim and I managed to have such a big fight that I ended up sleeping in the other room, an unprecedented escalation. We also agreed to break up, but that seemed like a really bleak solution to our problems after only about fifteen minutes, though I slept well. Kim, on the other hand, was plagued by allergies and asthma all night.