Thanksgiving Code Switching

Written by Jayna Hawkes



Answers to unknown questions struggle to climb up my burned windpipe. Memories of Dad’s monkey bread melt in my mouth. The way that butter dissolves into warm bread.

Brother’s not here again this year, he’s doing a different kind of cooking. Laura’s interminable questions ring in my head like Mom’s shrill voice when she popped way too many Adderall that one year.

Okay, maybe every year.

Emily is talking about boys, what’s new? Laura is talking about her 99 year old best friend and how she’s still alive. Ethan is talking about how he wants to go home. Bob is probably bickering with Uncle Dan, again.

Jayna isn’t talking.

Jayna is remembering jumping in fright every time the Pats got a TD; she doesn’t remember Dad’s voice though. She’s reminiscing him having to cook in the microwave because the stove didn’t work. And hadn’t worked for over 7 years. She’s reliving the emptiness felt at her false home- 794 Chandler St; for three Thanksgivings straight. Come to think of it, she doesn’t remember the last time she had a Thanksgiving with her blood.

The housed memories seem like dreams that can’t quite be recollected. Or the events that unfolded while she was 6 Bud Lights deep.



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