J woke me up early.  She had to be at work at 6:00 AM, getting the store ready to open at 5:00 PM. You know, Black Friday, that latest example of the validity of Pavlovian Psychology.  We’ve come a long way from bells ringing and salivating dogs.  Those dogs are probably laughing at us now in Dog Heaven.  

I suppose I could have gone back to sleep, but I didn’t. I will. I promise soon. What caught my ear this morning was a butch lesbian talking about the books she’s recently read on a YouTube video.  Her voice was a memory, an association with my late cousin Annette. It was that Butch Voice.  And it brought up a flood of memory and loss.  Like most of the people I know, Annette was comfortable living outside of the box, the culture assigned to her.  She no more fit her stereotype than I do mine and you do yours.

Butch Voice. Matter of Fact.  Friendly, in its way. Or maybe just familiar.  Annette’s enthusiasm for little things, like Pixie Sticks, was very inviting. She evoked that childhood memory of a penny candy when her nephew got them for Christmas.  Humour and irony would fill her voice when she spoke of her brother’s ability to find, bed, impregnate, marry, and , ultimately, divorce White Trash Women. 

This is the perfect memory for Thanksgiving, as I remind myself that the families that gather aren’t the ones that are depicted in TV commercials for Walmart, or Coca Cola, or Budweiser Beer. Thank God for that.