Thanksgivingish, sort of

The best part about the holidays is talking to old friends. (Some call it Thanksgiving, some call it Harvest, some call it a travesty of a holiday and attend their spouses’ gatherings only at gunpoint) I talked with a couple of old friends and it felt so good.

Watching Little Big Man, suggested by Angela. I can see certain things in it that would appeal to her on a direct level : a white boy, adopted by the Cheyenne, but never completely accepted. Each setting he enters (a religious family takes him in, a snake-oil man trains him up as partner, his estranged sister trains him as a gunfighter, he tries owning a general store and settling with a Swedish wife named Olga) ultimately he loses each life and returns to the Cheyenne. Still, he cannot be complete with them, as the white soldiers and the Pawnee massacre them indiscriminately.

The sense of isolation, of not belonging anywhere, is one that relates to Ang, or relates to what she’s told me. “Somewhere there’s someone with my face. I look at my sister, and I can see my mother. You look at yourself in the mirror and you can see bits of your father, and your grandmother, and pictures of great-grandparents. I look in the mirror and I don’t see anyone.”

I would ask my sister if she feels something like this, perhaps when Mom took a double frame and in one side put a picture of my dad when he was in the third grade. In the verso she put my third grade picture. They are nearly identical: the tilt of the head, the large front teeth, (the exceptionally toothy grin) the near-sighted squint.

Does she feel hurt that there is no one to compare to, no crinkled photos with crimped edges to smooth and study, no features to examine for similarity? I don’t know. It is probably no consolation (if she feels so) that she is the spit and image of Grandma M’s mannerisms.


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