Mom had complained of flu-like symptoms, and when these persisted even after a couple of days, she agreed to be taken to the hospital. Not just any hospital. Just the one government hospital specializing in hearts-- black or red, broken or otherwise. When we were finally assured that she had a room and a bed and that she was unlikely to go the way of Da King, I promptly left for Sampaloc to pick up the barongs Mom was s'posed to pay for.
But that's got nothing to do with the turkey.
Ian had invited me to his Christmas soiree (happening on the same night my mother was inconvenienced with having to go to a hospital) some weeks before. And because I loved the man and the food he so generously served, (yes, the infamous turkey) I went. After the family had secured for Mom a place to lie down and be treated for the ravages of stress.
I slapped samples from various meat dishes, potatoes, rice and gravy on my plate, proceeding to pick at the stuff while talking to Nikka and Ian's friend S. I was noting to myself how great Nikka looked and that S. had lost weight and was looking splendid in her strangely zippered top when I felt a strange, lucid lassitude. Everyone blamed it on how full we all were, probably riding high on carbohydrates and light beer.
And we jokingly laid the most blame on the turkey and Ian's custom ice cream. The fact that there wasn't any left by the time I arrived is testament to how good the ice cream is.
I was wallowing in the strange sense of well-being, looking for D____ actually, in between looking at the women and looking for anyone from my old alma mater. All the while, Swamp and hubby Adam were regaling a small audience with tales of China, France, Italy, devolving English and computer-aided art. I was listening, of course, but I was too... high ...to chime in except for the nodding, the "yes"-ing and the lit eyes tracking the speaker (when they weren't trying to track the women).
Ian would tell me later that there really is some sort of natural chemical in turkey meat, something that made you want to sleep off the rest of Thanksgiving. Or Hannukah. Or whatever occasion demanded the consumption of turkey.
But we never could get why I was affected by it so much... my own body chemistry, perhaps?