Thanksgiving is over and now the true holiday season begins. I’ve returned from a few short days at home (as in where my family is) with a sense of nostalgia. It’s true that around this time of year I oft ponder those Turkey Days of childhood. At the time they seemed so picturesque: long wooden table, big family gathering, cousins galore.
Of course as I’ve gotten older I can see more clearly the falsity in those images I’ve maintained, like picking only the best photos for the album. But it doesn’t make that loss any less of one. In fact, as I write this I realize that sensation of nostalgia is actually one more akin to disconnection. Where is that family now? When did I last sit down for that Thanksgiving?
Part of being a child of divorcees is learning to take disconnection in stride. You disconnect from a bed, a house, a parent to take on the other. And as you get older home becomes less of a place and more of a concept. But I’m still just muddled with longing for the images that I remember, and yet lately find myself realizing are untrue. People change but then don’t change at all, so it’s easy to find yourself disappointed, but places? Some places never change.
Friday Shirley and I, along with another friend of ours spent one final night at the place of childhood fantasies (or mine at least): the Skyview Drive-In. It was an amazing time just lying in the back of the car, covered in blankets, stuffing ourselves with candy, while the cold, fall air chilled our cheeks. But it was so sad too. The drive-in is no longer, not as a gathering place to catch a flick and or specifically in Santa Cruz, where it soon becomes a hospital.
We knew it would be our last night time there, beneath the stars, amidst that big glowing screen. How many movies I’ve seen there, I can’t begin to count, but I can remember watching them from my car-seat as a child. So yeah, another thing lost.
Later that night I dreampt about someone I loved dearly as a child. Someone who flits through my mind rarely, but always brings a smile to my face. In the dream, this person had to tell me that nothing would ever be the same. I didn’t want to, but I knew I had to let my idea of them go. So I did…in the dream.
And I now I need to try to do the same with the drive-in. The one good thing about being [dreaded word to follow] an adult is that you get to finally make some of your own traditions. And stick to them. Or try your damndest to. Then when I’m eighty I can bore my grandchildren with stories about the drive-in.
“The last time I went was November of 2007. You weren’t even a twinkle yet. Can you believe I was worried things might not turn out okay back then?”