Another year, another Thanksgiving. Your senses seem more dull this year. The turkey skin doesn’t seem as crisp; the stuffing not as stuffed. Or maybe it’s that your mother insists on bringing Eric, your stepfather of 17 years, to Thanksgiving yet again. “We’ve been married 17 years, he’s not going away,” your mother helpfully reminds you when you express your distaste for the pale, sickly man.
Why couldn’t your biological father be here? You ponder this briefly before remembering that he used your college fund as a down payment on a cryogenic tank in a seedy storage facility. He hasn’t been to Thanksgiving for years.
“Have you visited your father?” your mom asks as she passes the scalloped potatoes. “Just to see if he’s still frozen?”
You haven’t visited your father. It’s been exactly 20 years since you pressed the big red button to cryogenically freeze him. Maybe you should check to see if his body is still frigid. “Does he deserve it?” You wonder. “I had to enter the workforce at age 17 because he used MY college money to purchase a freeze box through the dark web. Pass the stuffing.”
Your inner monologue pauses. You’ve just asked yourself in your own head to pass the stuffing.
“Pass the stuffing, please,” you say out loud. Eric jumps at the chance. He politely passes the stuffing and you dish it onto your plate. Never breaking eye contact, you place a spoonful in your mouth. It is good. You realize Eric is responsible for something good in your life. Eric smiles. You half-smile back.
“So your mom and I purchased season tickets for the aquarium,” Eric pointlessly brings up.
You decide to thaw your dad out for Thanksgiving next year.