No More Cakes and Ale
by Jeff Baker
“Pass the…hey what is that? Gravy or tea?”
The six of us around the table in the loft apartment laughed.
“Maybe it’s Au Jus…oh wait, tea.” Monroe said.
We were all from the College and either had nowhere to go or couldn’t make it home for Thanksgiving so Professor Clifford had invited us over to his loft for what he called a “Thanksgiving Brunch.” A couple of packages of sliced turkey and ham, canned soda, the clear pitcher of the suspicious brown liquid. I grinned and sipped my soda.
The loft occupied the top floor of an old brick office building downtown. The windows were the kind you see in office high-rises. There was a wood floor and a shag carpet. The bedroom was upstairs in a loft to one side of the loft.
“Who has the turkey?” Mick asked.
“Me,” Francisco said.
“Don’t hog it all,” Tommy said.
“Go easy on me, this is my first Thanksgiving in the U. S.!” Francisco said.
“Just pass the…”
“Okay! Okay!” Francisco said. “Hey, an Americanism!”
“What kind of dressing is that?” Marjorie asked.
“Edible.” Scott said.
“Mushrooms and, uh, bread and, uh, dressing stuff.” Professor Clifford said.
“It’s your dinner, don’t you know?” Mick asked.
“My loft, somebody else made the dressing.” Clifford said.
“I think Schuyler made the dressing,” Jorge said. “Hey, where is he, anyway?”
“Who brought the green beans?” Liz asked.
“I got them from the store.” Professor Clifford said.
“Give ‘em here, I’m vegetarian.” Liz said.
“Wrong day of the year for that!” Scott laughed.
“Have the dressing,” Francisco said. “I just helped myself. It looks like just vegetables and bread.”
“Turkey should be okay too,” Scott said. “I brought it. It’s synthetic tofu.”
“BLEAAAH!” Jorge said.
“I got the sliced turkey at the store,” Professor Clifford sighed.
“Is he like this in class?” Marjorie asked.
“Not this semester, he’s a junior!” Mick said.
“Are those cranberries?” Francisco asked.
“Yup!” Mick said. “My Mom loves cranberries. She’s probably eating them right now.”
“Yeah.” Marjorie said.
There was a moment of nostalgic silence.
“Hey, what’s that?” Scott asked. “That rumbling noise?”
Liz craned her neck. “I think Schuyler’s asleep on the couch.”
“He’s up late. Working and studying.” Mick said.
“Let him sleep,” Professor Clifford said. “I’ll make him a plate to heat up later.”
“Hey, Happy Thanksgiving!”
“Yeah! Happy Thanksgiving!”
“Yes! You too!”
A little vignette for a late Thanksgiving celebration or maybe a leftover! Didn’t turn out the way I thought it would. Title from Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.”——jsb.