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ROUTE COYOTE / Kurt Hochenauer ISAT IN THE RECLINER watching the video tape from last Thanksgiving as my brother Sean taped me. It was Thanksgiving. There aren't many older brothers on this planet Uke Sean who would let a kid brother do something Uke this, even after the coyote thing in 1987. I love him and everyone in my famUy. On the video, I saw myself sit in the same recliner watching a video from the previous Thanksgiving. I've been doing this every year since 1985. It's a Thanksgiving ritual I do, a personal and now a famUy thing. On the video I watched, I talked. I said, "This year Granddad got confused, and thought a bowl of potpourri was party mix. He went, 'Sort of spicy/ "Also, Erin lost weight. "Raymond is drunk." I turned to the camera that taped me as the previous year's tape roUed. I said, into the camera, "Raymond is drunk again this year. "Granddad has not eaten potpourri, but he did have a nice morning 'reading the newspaper/ and he's told everyone, including a sorority friend of Patricia's; this made Tricia embarrassed. It was a very decent one, Pop said, grinning, and he was proud of it, everyone was, and thus the new medicine, some prescribed laxative Mama said was never going to work, is, indeed, a success after aU. "Erin remains depressed because of some Ungering boyfriend thing from last summer. His name escapes my memory. "Also, I need to say it: I love my famUy for letting me be crazy." I watched myself watching myself for a minute. Everything remained stiU. Frozen time. I love frozen moments. These moments make me feel Uke I fit, Uke I belong to something, Uke Tm connected to something universal, connected to history maybe, to a past in which facts remain real and safe and accurate. I get this good feeUng only when everything stops Uke this, and I can feel myself watching myself, and it's Uke nothing is moving. So here I was suspended in eternity, looking at me looking at me, and there's a spirituaUty, almost, to it, to see your reaction to your former self, and then to combine that with your current reaction. It's aU the same, my reaction is aU the same, every year, except, of course for 1987. Time isn't moving, and, though you 178 ยท The Missouri Review know it's impossible, you've come close to stopping time, as close as you can, and it makes you take a deep breath, and it makes you wonder about reaUy stopping time from screwing your Ufe up, and it makes you dream of better machines, Uke video cameras, only magic cameras that can reaUy stop time, and you can pick when you want time stopped, pick any time you want. On the two-years-ago tape, which I could barely hear, I went, "I lost a pant size, everyone. I wear thirty-fours now." On last year's tape, I went, "Tm back to thirty-sixers." I turned to Sean's camera, an expensive Sony, positioned so you saw the television and my face when I turned sUghtly to the left. I said, "Thirty-fours." Ray, also older, came over, gave me noogies on the head, danced The Twist, handed me a beer, even though I'm not supposed to drink because of the medication I take because I'm crazy (I drink aU the time stiU). I love him, too, maybe the most. IronicaUy, at that exact moment Ray appeared on the two-yearsago tape so he and I watched me a year ago watch him two years ago. He was drunk, holding a can of Coors Light. He was definitely thinner on the tape, though. Ray gets a kick out of me doing this every year, aU except for the 1987 tape. No one in my famUy likes the 1987 tape. Ray looked at himsetf, laughed, said, "Twenty pounds. I need to lose twenty pounds, that's aU." I was thinking, When did aU this start to happen, aU this worrying about our weight, jogging, aU that? And kids, everyone...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9930
Print ISSN
0191-1961
Pages
pp. 178-188
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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