This is the day that holidays and family started losing significance for me. You had been gone for a few days at this point. Gone to Detroit and to Windsor, to gamble and to buy whores. Mom sat at the set Thanksgiving table that had no food prepared for it and quietly sobbed for half an hour or so. She then she went to bed for the night.
The whole thing at first ached like the way it did when I learned Santa wasn’t real. But it was worse. Santa wasn’t just not real, he was this terrible presence that actually lived in the same house I did. Instead of presents there were just bow-tied bombs of misery that I (and mom) would get to open for years to come.
I stole 10 bucks from her purse and went to the Wendy’s that was open from noon ‘til five and had that for Thanksgiving dinner. I still feel bad for the people who had to work at Wendy’s that day; wiping grease stains off tables and coming home smelling like fried offal to their families who were hopefully not too ashamed to look them in the eyes. I can relate to the shame part.