Giving Thanks

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Thanksgiving 5-Part Essay 1

Written by Anonymous.  Anonymous may be a first-time Jewrotica writer.  🙂


It’s hard to give thanks for something that is dying.

Alex is doing some alarmingly fast push-ups on the floor. He has a routine: forty push ups, followed by two minutes of rest, followed by forty more push ups. Repeat ten times, for a total of four hundred. Unsurprisingly, his biceps are sinewy and generous, my favorite part of his body.

When we first started dating, I would poke a tentative finger at this undeniable but unbelievable mound of muscle, and he would laugh, and send a finger straight to my ribs and call me “Skeletor.”

He hasn’t touched me in weeks.


It’s hard to give thanks for something that is dying.

“Are you coming to Thanksgiving or not?” he asks, pulling a thread from his sweater.

“Are there going to be kosher options?” I counter. Alex’s family’s idea of kashrut migrated with them from Moscow in the 90s. They keep the butter and the pork on opposite sides of the table, and think my insistence on plastic utensils and pre-packaged food is both charming and insane.

“Would you come if there were?” There is a challenge in his voice.

“You know I can’t.”

“You know you could. If you wanted.”

“Alex…” I lay a conciliatory hand on his arm, wishing he would flex the muscle beneath, the way he used to when he cared about impressing me.

He doesn’t.


It’s hard to give thanks for something that is dying.

I am practicing scenarios in my head, mouthing the words.

“Ima, I need to tell you something.” “Abba, um, I want you to listen to me before you fly off the handle.” “Ima, I have something to tell you.” “Abba, please don’t kill me.” I bang my forehead against the table. This is pointless.

“That looks painful,” Alex says from the kitchen, his mouth full of something. I leap up.

“How long have you been standing there?”

“Long enough to watch you having a conversation with yourself.”

“I’m trying to figure out the best way to tell my mom and dad,” I say.

He snorts. He’s been watching every fruitless variant of this exercise for the past six months and has developed a remarkable resistance to the sulks that invariably follow.

“I’ll let you get to it,” he says.

“Thanks,” I mutter to his retreating back.

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