The Night Before Thanksgiving, aka Wednesday


I’m sitting here typing this, mostly forcing myself to get something down, and It will be shorter than the others. I just have a haunted feeling engulfing my mind after reading through the previous 4 installments. Sitting back with last year’s installment knowing had I made that journey I would have had at least one more night with a good friend who took his life over the summer. That is hard to reconcile. I’m not thinking that the one night would have changed anything. There were a number of other friends at the get together, but selfishly it would have been a night where stories would have been shared. Memories rekindled and shared. …..A moment that is gone, that never was…. kinda reminds me of the Springsteen line:

 Again,hard to reconcile and process. 

Oh and those Jonathan Tropper quotes still ring true:

Below the “keep reading” are the previous installments. 


thoughtsthatstray: Written 11/27/13

The night before Thanksgiving used to be one of my favorite nights of the year. Back in my hometown, it was a night when friends would gather at one of the few watering holes where said friends could share some adult beverages.

We’d usually start off at one place with dinner and beers. Note there was an s on the end of the word beer, but then we’d cross the street to a new place that had karaoke, more BEER, and more old friends. Well, truth be told a few old enemies would pop in here and there.

We’d share some memories, stretch some truths, tell some lies, and it was fun seeing old friends. Of course it was fun seeing old flames too. We’d have a ball, signing each other up for the previously mentioned karaoke and trying to find the most fucked up song or funniest song for them to sing. Oh how I wish it were modern day where every cell phone had a video, because watching an ole ball coach singing “Funky Cold Medina” or “Brickhouse” as his long hair swayed and his hairy little nubby feet attempted a bit of a drunken dance. Oh I’d pay good money to have footage of that, but of course if that were modern day, seeing a coach/teacher slightly intoxicated on youtube or some other form of social media would be grounds for his dismissal which is bullshit, since he was simply an adult having some fun with other adults. Like I said I would pay good money (if I had good money) to see that footage once again.

You’d see faces pop in of people you hadn’t seen since high school, or hadn’t seen in quite some time You’d see a bombshell walk through the door and you are like well I could always see some cuteness in that awkward teen from years ago. Of course at the end of the night you’d have the same two or three guys trying to sneak out on a bar bill. At times you’d have a group of them trying to bribe someone into trying to get on top of the bull in the corral. Yes, an actual bull in an actual corral out in front of the steakhouse. He wasn’t there long, but he was there.

An ex would walk up and whisper in your ear, “I’ve got something to show you”, and you simply respond what’s that? While she says come out here and you walk to the back side of the building and she takes your hand and slides it down her pants and you feel her freshly shaved pussy, which was definitely new. You make plans for Black Friday to spend the day fucking like you used to.

As I said, you hear some old stories, that 55 yard touchdown was up to about 63. You argue about beating a rival 43-34 when some former teammate is swearing on his Momma that it was 43-30. You simply say, look, I know what it was. That is my pin # and has been ever since. You flag down another teammate and he confirms that it was 43-34, and then he gives the other guy a hard time for forgetting it.

At this point you are 15-20 beers into the night and you know you could very well drink another dozen or so if the bar wasn’t closing. You crawl into a minivan which was basically a shuttle service. You drop the old ball coach off at his miniature mansion and tell him to cut his hair. He flips the group off with that stumpy middle finger and then he waves.

You come home, crawl into bed and think about the night. You think about the memories, you think about that freshly shaved pussy.

Oh I sure miss those days.


thoughtsthatstray: Written 11/26/2014

It’s still one of the things I miss about my hometown. I don’t miss much, but I miss my friends, the old haunts, the stories that stretch the truth from time to time.  Someone bringing up a time at party and someone trying to deny it ever happened.   As I said in the original post it was a time for friends to see friends. That is/was one of the beauties about a small town. A part of it you didn’t really respect or understand completely when you were there.

I no longer have ties to my home town other than a few friends, with my parents being gone, and having moved away quite some time ago. A small part of me regrets leaving, but the majority of me is glad that I did.

Memories don’t die, but they sure can fade away.


thoughtsthatstray: Written 11/25/2015

I wouldn’t call it writer’s block, I’d call it just not in the mood to reminisce. With that said, I’ll give it a shot, since this become some annual ritual. I do know I’ll be tracking down the Ron Green(former Charlotte Observer columnist) annual Thanksgiving article tomorrow.

Earlier tonight on the back deck while grilling some burgers I thought of some old friends, some old times. That  made me remember that I have really neglected my YD&B side blog, but that happens.

Thoughts drift back 18-20-22 years. Thoughts drift to better times, happier times. Maybe it was being more carefree, not fully understanding responsibilities. Then it reminded me of a quote from a book I read this year year. “This is Where I Leave You” by Jonathan Tropper, it was made into a movie which was decent, but the book was better as books often are.  I know I shared the quote, but here it is again.

“It’s just hard to see people from your past when your present is so cataclysmically fucked.”

The last time I saw most of my old friends was the summer of 2014 at the funeral of one their father’s. While I sit here typing this, half thankful that I’m not there at the moment, I know it would be like that July night. Wouldn’t miss a beat and it would be like old times. Telling stories, sharing memories, laughing till you are about to choke on a beer. So I’m torn. Part of me wishes I was there instead of typing this, but another part is glad that I’m not.  The dreadfully sad part of it is that is one a handful of times that I’ve actually enjoyed myself.  Past > Present, with the future yet to be in the equation. Really sucks.

It really sucks knowing that the next time I’ll likely see most of them will be at another funeral. But that is how the cookie crumbles at times.  


Thoughtsofstray: Written 11/23/2016

This is the 4th time I’ve sat here on Thanksgiving Eve slapping these keys trying to make sense. 2013, 2014, and 2015 can be found below.

Tonight, I had the opportunity to go back to my home town and hang out with some old friends, but I had to pass. I didn’t trust my car to drive the 30-35 minutes to Statesville to ride the rest of the way with another friend. I don’t trust it to go much further than the short trips that I generally take. It has two issues on it’s to-fix-list. One was quoted out at about 1k(and hopefully will be addressed shortly) the other yet to be determined. I’ve already thrown about 400 at that particular problem and that didn’t fix it. It’s frustrating. But, to be brutally honest, I could have had a 2017 whatever with 17 miles sitting in the drive way and I can’t promise that I would have gone. Well, maybe I wouldn’t be in the same mindset if the 2017 whatever was sitting outside.

This is where I could easily insert that Jonathan Tropper quote. Maybe it should just be my mantra, but it fits. If I didn’t mention it last year, I would quote it again, but if you read this whole jumbled cluster of letters you’ll see it, or you can click here.

It would have been nice to see them. In this little snippet from last year, I also wrote about the last time I saw them. I could quote that again since that hasn’t changed either. But it would have been nice to sit around with a cold beer or four and catch up, and spend some time with them.

Maybe I’ll wake up one day soon and shake myself out of this funk. I’m picturing a 75lb puppy coming out of a river and drying himself off. Maybe that would work.

I guess when I finish this I’ll sit down and read back through the previous 3 entries and I wish I could say I feel like I’m in a better place, physically, mentally, emotionally, etc, but that would be spitting lies.  

I think at one point I made a post about being thankful for having an imagination but in the end, it might be negative thing. Hard to tell.

The night before Thanksgiving used to be a part of the Holiday festivities. Now it’s just a Wednesday.


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