Around the table: my sister-in-law, who is a fashion illustrator, and her newlywed husband, an urban planner. My other sister-in-law, deep into high school years, a K-pop fan and dancer. Jared's uncle came east for the first time in a decade or so to spend this Thanksgiving here. Jared's grandmother, a former Saks Fifth Avenue employee, with incredible fashion sense. Upon seeing a photograph of her, my once manager at Barnes & Noble in midtown Manhattan (also an aspiring actor, also gay) say, "I am in love with Nana."
In addition to Nana, my step-mother-in-law's co-worker, niece, and her niece's spouse also joined the table. Of course, my son was there - alternately playing on the floor, sitting in Jared's lap, or attempting to squeeze between tightly packed chairs to get onto my lap.
By dinner's end, Beren settled into a game of hide and seek. To my call, "Where's Beren?" Jared's grandmother added hers. Then Tia Laura called for Beren. Over the din of simultaneous adult conversation and child's play, my father-in-law assumed that Beren was indeed lost in the four room apartment. He made for the kitchen with a look of concern until Laura explained, "He's under the table."
Earlier in the evening Jared's grandmother told me of her aches and pains and her doctor's recommendation of no Advil, no something else, but instead something. The heat in the apartment was as I remembered all of my apartments - hot and stifling. My head bobbled and my eyelids drifted closed. Jared glanced at me and smiled.
Behind my chair, Tia Esperanza played with Beren and his new train set. "Is there an adult with Beren?" Nana asked twice.
I wondered if I will talk about my aches and pains. If I don't, what will I talk about instead? Will I worry inordinately about the people around me? If I don't who will?