Site icon Margaret Coombs

On the Wagon

Thanksgiving Dance by Winslow Homer

It’s been over six months since I’ve had a drink. It’s pandemic-related. I didn’t want a depressant to make me sleepy while reading poetry and binge-watching Schitt’s Creek and ACORN shows. 

To be honest, I hardly noticed. I had a glass of wine maybe three times a week. My husband loved to buy me wine (he stopped drinking about ten years ago). He’s a professional shopper. Literally. He bought books and serials as a university librarian. That was what attracted me first. I read the list of journal subscriptions from his library and thought, I have got to go there. I’ve got to visit this place and see the shelves. This was in West Virginia, a place of hills and pine forests and squiggly roads that terrified me. I had just moved to Beckley, where I worked in a very small junior college in the evenings and for a traveling graduate school during the day. And there was that library just down the turnpike, jewels glittering in its serials list.

He used the same skills to buy wine for me. The best quality bottle. The lowest price. And only what I liked. 

As we enter Thanksgiving week, I realize that I’m triggered. I want a drink.  

Because at this time of the year, I drink with others.

This is what I miss and what I want:

    to eat with others, to toast one another and our togetherness, 

    to sing, laugh, learn something about someone I thought I knew,

    sit with four generations of family and watch how genetics and psychology make the youngest resemble the oldest and vice versa,    

    become suddenly affectionate and hug everyone in a circle,  

    eat my fill of food traditional and new, 

    drink something with deep, sweet, and bitter depths,   

    and afterward, close my eyes and think, all is well, and nap with a sense of well-being.

Here’s the hope for a together Thanksgiving next year. 


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