Rendered Fat Content


Ohara Koson: Autumn Grass (1900-30)
"My feelings live close to the surface here …"

The Villa smells of pumpkin custard this early morning because The Muse was baking Thanksgiving pies last night. A pecan job rests beside the pumpkin on the kitchen counter. A extremely large-breasted turkey rests, air-drying in the garage refrigerator. A low ceiling hangs over this valley. A crane-shaped airplane, the morning flight to Seattle, just roared overhead. I suspect that it was filled with people heading off to spend this holiday with family, though I don't know that for a fact. I know little for a fact, though I seem to sense plenty and make sense that way. I mostly make meaning not by knowing but by feeling. I read Evocations emanating from things and those vibes serve to inform me. Were it not for this sensory capacity, I would seem just as ignorant as I truly am. It's not a sixth sense, either, but the judicious application of the first five.

This town evokes memories from me. It plays me like a cheap guitar.
When The Muse and I were on exile, I missed living in a place that plucked my strings. To live in a place without personal history is to immerse one's self into unresolvable mystery, for without history, one loses the ability to see around corners and through walls. A building on that distant Main Street seemed simply brick and stood absent history, however long it might have stood, for no stories spoke from its windows or doors. Every building seemed vacant and I felt absent in their presence.

I found no giblets in that turkey I bought, so The Muse and I, panicked, rushed to our little butcher shop in search of supplemental. The clerk seemed uncertain if they had any left, but she went back to check the walk-in freezer and returned with an overlarge bag. The Muse asked if they had any necks left, neck meat being choice for inclusion in stuffing, and they had precisely one bag of those left, too. Both of our purchases were of the last in stock. I wondered what the rest of this small city would be doing for giblets since we'd apparently cornered that market. We left that butcher shop wealthier than we'd entered it, carrying a king's ransom in giblets and necks, I'm speaking here of evocative prosperity, the kind that "only" exists in one's head. The only sort really worth experiencing.

The Muse has been exclaiming lately, the last few days. We'll be driving or something and she'll just start gushing about how happy she's feeling at finally being home. This Thanksgiving Holiday, she exclaimed yesterday, we're not going anywhere. We will not be out of town visitors. We will not be haunting as guests, but actual hosts in our own home, albeit still unfinished. She sounded astounded to be experiencing what she'd just said. She spent yesterday moving back into her newly-refurbished office and out of the basement. This year, we can be grateful to "just" be here, the unlikely beneficiaries of excessive good fortune. We were thrown out of this garden, led away in chains, prevented from returning for well over four thousand days and nights, multiple half-lives. Then we returned to where almost everything involves Evocations, every blessed everything holds infinitely deeper meanings. A drive to the hardware story routes me through my formative history. I pass by the house my great-grandparents owned, from whose kitchen Grandma Kenniston would send homemade dinner rolls over in a cab, she feeling too infirm to attend our Thanksgiving dinner in person. I cannot turn a corner here without encountering yet another half-forgotten aspect of myself and experiencing yet another in an endless stream of Evocations. My feelings live close to the surface here and I feel grateful for that this Thanksgiving.

©2021 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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