What’s the Best Part About Your Entire Family Dying From COVID-19?
Ahhhh, I can see it now.
11:00 AM Thanksgiving Day: You wake from a dream where you were a turkey pardoned by the President (Obama). While writing it down in your dream journal, you remember another dream where a respiratory virus spread across the world killing hundreds of thousands, including your annoying relatives who visit every Thanksgiving. Wait a second. You pinch yourself but you’re already awake. A dream come true.
You set down the dream journal next to your nightmare journal, which is gathering dust.
11:01 AM — 4:29 PM: You don’t move at all. No one’s around to tell you to put the turkey in the oven, or ask when you’ll meet a nice girl, because they’re locked down in place or — better yet — dead from COVID-19. They don’t even bother you in a supernatural, beyond-the-grave fashion and the only downside is that your face hurts from smiling.
4:30 PM: You roll out of bed in a velvet robe and slippers and make your way down a newly installed spiral staircase. You call out to see who else is awake. No answer. You’re alone. “How terribly sad,” you think, “that this didn’t happen sooner!”
5:30 PM: With neither foul smells nor loud arguments coming from the kitchen, you’re greeted only by the sounds of smooth jazz coming from the family-room-turned-gentleman’s-smoking room. Miles, baby. The Pilgrims ain’t had shit on this.
6:40 PM: The doorbell rings, triggering a PTSD flashback of extended family disturbing your inner peace and filling your freezer with diabetic-friendly ice cream. You laugh, remembering. That must be the delivery boy. If not, I won’t answer.
6:45 PM: The delivery boy unpacks your banquet onto the dining table and you slip him a fiver for his hard work. You look fondly upon the empty chairs gathered around the bountiful feast for one. Might need those for firewood later. Or maybe a sex fort.
The delivery boy says, “Happy Thanksgiving, mister,” as you kick him to the curb and, for the first time in your life, agree with the sentiment.
7:50 PM: You retire to the chaise lounge and ponder euphoria. You dictate the following into a tape recorder:
Have I ever experienced a Thanksgiving without family members bickering about politics over flat soda? A Thanksgiving where I didn’t have to decompress in a sensory deprivation tank until staff members complained about the screams? My long-held autumnal fantasy of isolation is now a divine reality thanks to COVID-19. That’s what I’m thankful for. Now, I think I’ll make a turkey handcraft. They keep coming out as middle fingers.
8:35 PM: You log on to Zoom to see what your friends are doing. They’ve also converted their parents’ houses into classy, Gothic-Tudor style bachelor pads. You smoke pipes and discuss the young, hot bachelorette survivors of COVID-19. You’ve always liked a girl with a good immune system. Repopulating the earth is a dirty job but someones gotta do it.
11:45 PM: One bachelor sits quietly, unamused by the virtual festivities. In a separate Zoom room you discuss with the others what might be bringing him down on such an improved holiday. Is it all the death and dying all around him? Is it the irreparable damage to the world economy? Is he waiting for the caulking on his jacuzzi to dry?
11:59 PM: Little do you know, he’s thinking hard about his many family members who have died. He’s also thinking about the future Thanksgiving meals he will now eat alone. And with no one interrupting his train of thought, he realizes I can finally hear myself think. Echo! Echo!!!