how can you speak to your family at thanksgiving?
how can you speak to anyone ever again?

do not attempt to converse with anyone over the meal
instead whisper your retorts into a cluster of reeds
carry this cluster of reeds with you throughout the thanksgiving meal
plant them by the side of the highway where they can scream obscenities at passersby and sometimes just ask for more stuffing

before the meal make a sweep of the house
you must find a place to hide for when the purge begins
or when grandma says something you don’t agree with
which is like a purge in some ways
either way you should familiarize yourself with household decorations that can be transformed into rudimentary weapons
just in case

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warn your family that if they speak the Forbidden Name three times you will shake off your skin and become a thing of rage and indignation that is too fearsome to behold
last week you accidentally turned on Fox News and bit a bat in half
you don’t know yet what you are capable of
when you recovered yourself your bank account was empty and mike pence’s office was calling and you don’t know what happened

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do not ever ever look your uncle directly in the eye
if you look him in the eye too long he will realize what you are

if someone drops a fork do not reach for it
run
hide
lock yourself in a secure part of the house
Hillary cannot help you now
no one can help you

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when night falls lock the door
or don’t lock the door
maybe the monster is inside the house
maybe you have already become the monster
ask everyone to read a hot take about the electoral college aloud into a mirror and see what happens

chant the one thing you can agree on over and over again until you rise above the partisan strife
above the conversation
above the dinner table
help you are floating many miles over the city
the air here is cold and thin and hard to breathe
you may have overdone this a little

pointedly look your uncle in the eye as you spill salt all over the table
answer truthfully if anyone asks how you are
this will bring conversation to a standstill and prevent anyone from asking you anything ever again

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scream incessantly
this way you will not have to talk to anyone

respond to all expressions of victory with “yes, grandma, it’s mourning again in America” and do not let her know that you are spelling it with a U

carry an artisanal mason jar. whisper all your complaints into it. later you can use this rage to pickle something, you despicable hipster

learn the accordion
with an accordion you can drown out anything
you don’t even have to learn how to play it really
just have it on hand to make noise
bagpipes also work for this
or a vuvuzela

play “Hamilton,” the one thing your whole family can agree on

you know what to do if there is a wishbone
you must claim the wishbone at all costs
it is the only way to make things right

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