Thanksgiving

The small boy filled his hands and stuffed his face until one day he was a man who thought himself old enough and wise enough to be thankful, but he was still hungry so he spent his time eating and working for money to pay for his food and shelter and considered himself too busy to be thankful.

I will be grateful later, he thought, when I have more to be grateful for.

So the boy grew older, without noticing at first, busy working and sleeping and filling his hands and stuffing his face and now also on the lookout for a woman, a thought that always filled his head, even when he was supposed to be doing other things.

There is no time to be grateful yet, he thought. There isn’t even time to age. When I am old and have very little left to busy myself with, then I will not be able to do anything but lie in my bed and be grateful. So, of course, I will do it.

I hope that will never happen.

He stared straight ahead, chewing.

Age came as small gifts: a steady cough when running, bouts of constipation and bloating, a knee that went pop when he walked up steep steps. He accepted them because he did not know he had the power to refuse, but be did not pause to say thanks.

Later on bones became raw and brittle like crackers. Still, he went on eating. These fingers will get fat, he said. Very fat, like swollen bones. Everyone got over it. He/we always just asked for a couple more bones. Something, at least, to chew on. The boy was very old, and we were too, just then.

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