When Gods Die

Thanksgiving is a day celebrated in America, commemorating the feast the Puritans gave themselves in thanks to their god for his grace in allowing them to survive their first year in the New World. Legend has it that the prior winter had been bitter and many of their number had succumbed. Legend also has it that the Native peoples attended this feast to celebrate their friendship with their new neighbors.

It’s all lies, of course. Just another example of America’s penchant for whitewashing her history. The Puritans murdered the Natives because they were “heathens” and thus an abomination in the eyes of their god.

Today, Thanksgiving is a holiday for people to celebrate their families and friends by breaking bread together and having a grand old time in each other’s company while doing so.

My Thanksgiving holiday sucked, thank you. There were several reasons for that but the main one is my family continues to blithely ignore my physical failings, leaving me out of a yearly ritual that’s supposed to bring a sense of belonging and joy. I have cataracts–not a bad case–but I can’t see well enough to drive at night. In the winter months, when days are short, I have to leave by a certain time to get back to my house before it gets dark. If the food is not on the table by a certain time #2, I can’t partake. This year, my niece had planned to bring a dish that I love, one her father used to make before his death. I was really looking forward to it. My sister, though, told her to be at my parents’ house by 3 PM, precisely the time I absolutely must leave to get back before dark. I left at 2. What really pisses me off is that stricken look, that ” oh, you have to leave? Well, do you want to take some food? Here, take a plate with you.” I don’t want no damned plate–I want to eat with my family! Besides, how am I supposed to take home a plate when the dinner isn’t even ready? This year, my sister asked if I wanted to take home some Brussels sprouts. They’d just come out of the oven. I said no. Why? I hate the fuckers.

And they do this every time. Christmas, New Years, what have you. Last New Years, I sent an email telling them how I felt about being left out. My mother and sister ripped me a new asshole.

When they do this, it brings up childhood feelings of anger, isolation, and worthlessness. I suppose if I’m feeling them now, they’re not confined to my childhood, are they? The feelings I had when as a child, I had a stomachache every morning at 8 AM. It was due to stress, because I hated going to my school that much. My mother would tell me to get some breakfast and the ache would go away. Well, it never did. I told another of my sisters about it–the whole sorry saga of my early years in Washington, D.C.–and she said I should have gone to a different school but my mother didn’t know she could have gotten me in. You know what? That isn’t the point. The point is, if your child comes to you at 8 AM, five days a week for weeks on end complaining about a stomachache, wouldn’t you be concerned enough to check it out? To my child mind, it was obvious my mother didn’t care, that she didn’t love me enough to find out what was going on with me. It made me angry but in my family, anger wasn’t an emotion that was permitted to be shown, at least not by the kids. In fact, it still isn’t. It isolated me because if they weren’t going to listen, there was no point in mentioning it. And because I knew they weren’t going to listen, I must have been worthless to them. So now I’m left trying to deal with this pain, trying not to feed my depression. It isn’t working.

I have a plan, though. I can’t say I’m sick. Well, I could, but I won’t. I’ll go because it’s expected of me. But if the food isn’t on the table by 2 PM, I’m leaving. And I ain’t taking a plate with me.

So what does this have to do with When Gods Die? Nothing. Below is the revised cover. Had to change it because the spaceship on the original cover is Disney property. And the LAST thing I want is for The Mouse to show up on my doorstep!


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