thanksgiving.November 23, 2009
Clark and I had been together for less than two months when Thanksgiving rolled around. We decided that we’d each spend the day with our respective families (I hadn’t met his mom yet), I’d drive back on Friday, pick him up, and we’d head back up to Pennsylvania together for the weekend.
At this point in our relationship, Clark and I were spending every moment I wasn’t at work together, holing up in Nikhil’s apartment above the Galaxy Hut, which he was subletting, and exiting only to drink beers downstairs. The rest of the time we watched marathons of “The First 48″ and “Intervention” in our underwear while eating takeout. One day Clark went to the Whole Foods across the street and returned with two bags full of expensive pasta, bread and olives. That was the only time we cooked.
I remember going home on Thursday and spending it without him and missing him so badly. He had left his phone charger in Clarendon and told me to call him at his mom’s instead. I remember dialing into the habits I’ve come to know — phone off the hook so everyone could nap and screened calls. I hesitantly left a message in a tiny voice.
I retrieved him the next day. Halfway through the three-hour drive up to my house, Clark pulled over in a panic.
“I can’t do this … I can’t meet your family. I’m barely divorced, we’ve only been together for two months … this is moving too fast,” he said. I remember repeating “OK … OK … OK …” over and over, and then somehow convincing him to keep driving, smoking and staring out the window instead of looking at him.
We finally arrived and I got him through the door and into a handshake with Bill. My mother had already made a pitcher of mimosas, and she handed him a full goblet while hugging him at the same time. I remember timidly meeting his gaze across the island counter in my kitchen, and him mouthing to me “I’m fine” before winking. We spent the rest of the weekend watching bad movies and drinking, and we all went out and got a Christmas tree on Saturday.
Clark wore all black, all the time. He wore this black jacket, black Dogpile jeans, and black Camper shoes. At this point he hadn’t had a haircut in months, and his curls flopped around on his head in a mess of grey and brown. I had dyed my hair black a few weeks earlier on a trip to Los Angeles because I thought he’d like it, and he did. This picture of us at the Christmas tree farm is one of my favorites – city kids in the country, black leather against the landscape.