Grapevine Online Exclusive

Published December 2013.

Me And My Turkey

Nearly 35 years into sobriety, he is grateful for some of the particularly bad memories

It was 1979, in Denver, Colo., the night before Thanksgiving. I stood in line at work, waiting to be handed a turkey as a holiday bonus. It was a huge bird, and it was frozen stiff. I went home with my prize bird, excited about having a few days off. I'd had a period of sobriety, but I'd recently gone back to drinking, so I was kind of "in between" friends.

I went home with my turkey in my hands, proud that I had gotten a Thanksgiving bonus. I didn't know how to cook a turkey, let alone a frozen one, so I pondered what I should do next. It suddenly dawned on me that the next day I was going to be alone with my turkey. I'd grown up in a family in which Thanksgiving was a rather festive occasion, with a lot of friends and family all around.

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