Abigail Thomas

Experiment (COVID Dream)

There was a new process by which something could be created from a man and a woman which might turn into a baby.  It looked like a bit of fluff no bigger than a fingernail, and you had to find its mouth and feed it. The process was very expensive, a hundred thousand dollars, and it was my responsibility (though not my thing) to tend it. I fed it milk and bits of hamburger, a piece of smoked turkey, a tiny sip of coffee laced with bourbon which surprised hell out of it, but was not spat out. I took extremely good care until one day I couldn’t remember where I’d left it.  It had been doing so well, too, always hungry, it had even grown a little. I searched the floor on my hands and knees. I searched my clothing. I searched pipes and tunnels that led underground. A lot of other things were going on, vegetables for instance. And then the day came when the would-be parents and grandparents were due to arrive, and I had to tell them it was gone and most likely dead.  Then we noticed a new purple bathmat squirming around trying to lay itself flat.  

“But I wanted a son,” cried the mother.

Abigail Thomas has four children, twelve grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Her books include Safekeeping; A Three Dog Life, and What Comes Next and How to Like It. She lives with her dogs in Woodstock, NY.

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