I have made a deal with the Devil. Salad-themed potlucks every other Wednesday from now until I'm not sure when. Thing is, it was a while ago, and I can't remember who was on which side of the deal, or what the other side gets in return, or how long this is supposed to go on for. So I just keep having 'em. Not sure if this means eventual riches, or unknowingly playing some part in a cosmic chess match, or just that I get to keep my soul another two weeks. And the Devil too has slipped from my memory. Sometimes I remember meeting him/her in a nightclub in New York, but the timing doesn't make sense, so then I think it might have been a guy I sat next to on a plane, and then it fragments into the neighbor's cat, a gigantic, half-imagined clock tower, an ineffable presence to the side of me one morning as I looked out the window, eating cereal. Anyway, here we go again.
You know that feeling when you are soaring high above the ground and the birds are making strange noises at you but some how you understand them and then you understand that all the world is always making strange noises and if you listen in just the right way it all starts to make sense? You know that feeling? It has no name, but it has a time and place, and together that time and place make Salad Wednesday. Tonight.
Salad Wednesday is like a million sparrows, in that it looks like an indistinct cloud from a distance, and then as it starts to approach you say, "geez, that's a lot of sparrows," and then it's there in front of you, so beautiful and overwhelming, and you think from this day forward I am a new person who values pleasures of the soul, and for a while it's utterly groovy until you realize that this is far far too many sparrows, and you should get indoors immediately, and that this is a sign of the apocalypse or the apocalypse itself, or that even the apocalypse is just a cultural unit of meaning for when you have no other ways to describe one million sparrows or Salad Wednesday. Come for that, stay for the kale, linger for the debate over whether ice cream is a salad.
Science fact: the actual Thanksgiving story is that when the starving Europeans were saved by the Native Americans, they were offered Salad Wednesday, but they couldn't handle it. Instead, they opted for the less world-rearranging "Thanksgiving," which allowed them to leave their gourds intact. Come recover from the long weekend with a tradition that's older than Thursday:
bring: salads, drinks, desserts, snacks to ponder in the living room, friends, fraggles, doozers, gorgs, gorgons, snogrog (that's gorgons backwards)
In three days, Salad Wednesday will have completed its long walk back from the east coast. Along the way, it met so many people, it saw so many things. Salad Wednesday is the new state religion of Nebraska. Salad Wednesday can never go back to that one bar in Tennessee (yet somehow we all know it will). Salad Wednesday learned from a shaman in Utah how to make a salad from nothing more than the feeling one gets from looking at the moon. Come be there to meet Salad Wednesday when it returns to Berkeley with a look in its eyes somewhere between puppy dog adorable and mangy dog crazed.
Bring: salads, snacks, drinks, live animals, unaccounted for externalities, opinions you don't hold but can, people you know, people you are sure you know but can't figure out from where, card tricks, triple entendres, other stuff
Do you ever get the sense that someone is watching you? Well, it's true. Santa Claus, the Vermiscious Knids, Dr. Eckleberg and all the other demons can see you all the time. They chuckle at your coffee spills. They get a tingling schadenfreude when you can't find the matching sock. They tell their buddies to hurry back into the room whenever you parallel park. Yes, you are being mocked by fictional characters all the time, and there's nothing you can do about it. Nothing except come to Salad Wednesday, because Salad Wednesday is invisible, and even if it wasn't, it's unmockable.