Thursday, November 24, 2005


I went to Ebony's house for Thanksgiving. Allie is at her folks' house, in western New York.

When I arrived, there was a friend of the family sprawled out on the floor by the TV, taking a nap. Later he woke up, and when he spotted me his face twisted up, as if to say, "Who the fuck is that white dude?" But everyone else knew me, and were at ease, so he quickly figured out that I am harmless.

It wasn't a vegan affair. I had turkey, duck, ham and brisket. And giblet gravy. In the non-meat category there were mashed potatoes, dressing and several varieties of pie. Ebony's mom and auntie are outstanding cooks. The turkey was very moist. The duck was especially good. Ebony's little cousin Duran said he liked the duck best. I told him it was Daffy Duck. Then I told him I was kidding when he made a face like he believed me.

I brought the camera, and Ebony spent the day snapping pictures.

The Lions game was on while we ate. But it was boring, so we watched DVDs. At first we watched part of a bootlegged movie. I don't know what the movie was called; we only watched a couple of minutes of it. It was one of those hardcore bootlegged movies, the kind that are video taped in the theater. The picture was filmed at a slight angle, and you could see the dark edge of the movie screen on the top and the bottom of the TV screen. You could hear people in the audience cough.

Ebony switched it to Scarface. I've never seen this movie.

Ebony's mom said, "So many black men have died because of this movie. But they didn't get the message. And the message is: The guy dies in the end."

I wasn't upset that she gave it away for me. She repeated this point several times during the film, especially as the violence escalated toward the finale.

Scarface is one of Ebony's favorite movies. He's seen it several times. As we watched, I kept turning to Ebony and saying, "This isn't very interesting. This is just like everyday life for me." When Scarface watched his friend get chopped up with a chainsaw in a bathroom, I said, "I had to go through a similar situation before I could break into journalism."

My tolerance for violence in movies has diminished as I've aged, but I hung in there with this one. It was very violent. But I liked the part where Scarface told the rich people in the restaurant that they need bad guys like him. I wish they'd pushed this concept a little more.

Then we watched Dave Chappelle's concert movie on Ebony's laptop, and I about fell out of my chair several times, I was laughing so hard. Like when he said, in reference to R Kelly's recent dramas, "I'm just saying that if 15-year-olds are old enough to get life in prison, they oughta be old enough piss on."

I miss Allie, and I miss my family, but this was one of the best Thanskgivings I've had in a while.

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