09 October 2012

Of Thanksgiving And Macabre Easter Eggs (Originally Published 3 Dec 2008)

Current mood:contemplative

Wednesday night is Thanksgiving Eve, which is usually a very good night in nightclubs.  Frankly, for many, many years, I had always thought Thanksgiving night was the better night.  But back then, it was Mortimer's Café on Thursdays and one of the best Café nights of the year, only superceded by Miss America week.  Over the years it seems Wednesday night became a great night out.  I guess it's because everyone is in town and goes out before having to deal with their families the next day.
I normally work on Wednesday evening but I had hoped to have off since I would be traveling very early on Thanksgiving Day.
No such luck. 
The night started off rather slow and got busier as it wore on.  And to say "wore on" is exactly right.  My entire focus was on my journey on Thursday and I was damn glad that I prepared everything ahead of time.  I pretty much took the three days prior as preparation for my one-day trip.  Everything was set and ready, clothing laid out, bag packed, music ready on my mp.3 player and the book I'm reading; Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed (which is fascinating, by the way). My boss decided near the end of the night that I could shut the back bar around four-thirty in the morning. 
I had to be on the train at nine-fifteen!
Luckily he had a change of heart and allowed me to shut at three forty-five and I was out of there as soon as I got everything cleaned, counted and put away.  Sleeping was hardly an option, at that point.  I basically just lied in bed, quiet and calm, resting my eyes and hoping I don't really pass out and sleep through my alarm.  I had a back-up plan.  There was a later train that would get me there in time but just barely and I wanted to spend as much time as possible with my family.  I pushed myself to the limit and when the alarm went off, I was still basically awake.  The shower didn't really help but I got my act together and off I went, luckily getting the free shuttle to the train station.  The day was phenomenal! Picture perfect for an autumnal day, for a holiday, for my favourite holiday.  The terminal was busy but not overly so, I purchased my round trip ticket and wandered over to get a V-8, one of the perfect things to have when you're not feeling up to par.  I boarded the train, going right to the front car where the engine is, I like hearing the train horn sound during the trip. 
I looked out of my window at the passing terrain and began to read my book but this time, the rocking of the train and the rhythmic sounds lulled me to sleep and I napped almost the entire trip, waking up when we passed Cherry Hill.  We arrived at Thirtieth Street Station and I wandered over to the SEPTA terminal to wait in line to purchase my tickets to Huntingdon Valley.  It was extremely busy everywhere, people bustling about waiting for their trains and connectors, people meeting and hugging, friends and families enacting scenes right in front of me that would be happening all over the country that day.  Scenes that I would soon be a part of, once I got to my destination.
I had a few minutes before my next train so I ran to good ol' Mickey D's and got something to put in my grumbling stomach.  I ran to the platform and waited with the other travelers, eavesdropping on conversations and making up stories about those around me.  My train arrived on time, I found a seat and the train trundled on it's way northeastward.  Once my station came up, I gathered my things and got off and began walking, slightly disoriented.  For a brief second, due to my exhaustion and the change of scenery due to the seasons, I thought I got off at the wrong stop!  Once I realized my confusion, I made my way to my mother's home and soon found myself being hugged and kissed in welcome. 
My first thought was; COFFEE!  Once I had a cuppa in my hand, I was able to settle in and play catch-up with my mom and sister.  Shortly thereafter, more and more of my family arrived and the day was set.  We devoured the crackers, dips and munchables that were out and waited for the actual dinner.  I did my usual job of making Bloody Marys for the mob!  Damn, they were delicious!
As usual, my cousin Dawn and I sat together when we finally gathered around the table, and four full plates of food later, I was finally done eating!  I am not exaggerating, I had four helpings of Thanksgiving repast!
We sat around the table whilst the clean-up crew did their thing (mom, aunt, sister, cousins.  Not me, natch!) and chatted.  The one thing we all found funny was something we all experienced, that most of our friends dread going back to their families and we can't bloody wait until Thanksgiving so we can see each other!
The conversations continued and the laughter never stopped, my family is very funny and quick to laugh.  We finally had dessert and coffee (ahh…more coffee!) and I decided on a sampler platter of chocolate cake, apple pie and pumpkin pie.  Yum!
My second cousin, Tara, asked if we'd like to see pictures of her African trip.  She was there on a sort of intern-ship, she's to be a doctor next year.  "Sure," we all said, "how interesting!"
This is where Thanksgiving took a sick and twisted and horrifying turn!
We all gathered in the living room and Tara began narrating the pictures on her laptop.  We "ooh-ed" and "ahh-ed" in the appropriate places, the beautiful scenery, the colourful village and things were pretty straightforward up to that point. 
Then the "Easter Egg" happened!
My gods, it was so bloody disgusting, so terrifying, so disturbing!
So fun!
Evidently, she was there to perform surgeries.  Evidently, there are a lot of growths and tumors in the human body.  Evidently, some of them look like the Devil's version of an Easter Egg.    
A young girl had a growth that wasn't obvious from the outside but when they felt her abdomen, they could feel something in there that didn't belong.  Tara said the surgeon sliced her open and pushed down on her tummy and this grapefruit sized tumor popped out, looking for all the world like a colourful, albeit disgusting and macabre, Easter Egg.  Now, after we all commented over this…thing, Tara decides to tell…AND SHOW…us that she cut the goddamn thing open! 
And that there were THINGS in there.  Balls of hair, bone, muscle, tissue, hair!  Oh my gods, thankfully, we all had finished our dinners before witnessing this monstrosity!
Needless to say, I told dear Tara that next Easter, I'll take a chocolate bunny, please. 
That over, we wound down the day and said our good-byes.  My mother, of course, didn't allow me to leave and I ended up staying the night, passing out at the ripe ol' hour of eight o'clock and not getting up until eight in the morning. 
Gods, that felt GREAT!
We got dressed and went to lunch at this cute place near them and then they took me to my train and I made the return trip home, getting right off the train and going right to work.

No comments:

Post a Comment