When I first moved into this apartment, I immediately noticed you refuse to wash any dishes. The sink was a festering tub of primordial ooze, the kind from which mutant ninja teens might emerge, with plates stacked so high they obscured the faucet. So I, rather than take on the thankless role of sole dishwasher, claimed my one bowl, dish, fork, knife, and cup. In this way, I figured I could avoid washing your dishes for you, for if there’s one thing I can’t abide, it’s cleaning up after other people. I will not do it. I am not, nor have I ever been, any person’s mother. This cup is my Alamo, my refuge from the siege of fetid dishware scattered about as if after a Viking feast, and this is where I make my stand.
However, moments ago, I felt a powerful thirst, dear roommate, powerful and terrible, and when I needed to quench that thirst, I reached for my cup, only to discover: no cup. I scoured this apartment from top to bottom, and I couldn’t find it in any nook, cranny, drawer, or cabinet, and, make no mistake, I would recognize my cup. My cup has the image of a bichon frisse on the side. It says, “I the infinite horror of being a soul bound to flesh, and I also know you’re trying to distract me from the crux of the matter which is this:
Where is my cup? Where is it? I have a list of potential suspects in The Case of the Stolen Cup. Here is the list: you. You’re the only suspect. Now, I’m not saying you stole it, but I think the evidence at hand is pretty overwhelming, damning even. First of all, there are only two people in the apartment: me and you. For my part, I didn’t move the cup from its original position on the TV tray table in the corner and look in my hands. Am I holding the cup right now? Am I? AM I HOLDING THE GODDAMN CUP RIGHT NOW AT THIS MOMENT NO I AM NOT OBVIOUSLY OR I WOULDN’T BE SCREAMING AT YOU BUT HYDRATING MY THIRSTY CELLS IN PURE LIQUID REVERY!
What of you, though, dear roommate? You’re not holding the cup, sure, but if I didn’t move it, then you’re the only potential culprit left. Unless the cup was stolen by pirates. Was it? Was it stolen by pirates? Seems highly unlikely, and I’ll tell you why: pirates keep to the ocean, off the coast of Somalia or the Philippines, not Lake Michigan, and even if there were pirates in Lake Michigan, they wouldn’t come ashore for something as cheap and common as a plastic bichon frisse cup, nor would they abide the image of a sweet adorable pup on their dishware. Dear roommate, pirates are tough hardy seafolk, and they drink from flagons, goblets, or chalices, but never sweet adorable puppy cups. I could further refute this scenario — which you seemed to imply by your silence was a possibility — but it’s a waste of time. It’s too ridiculous. I’ve already spent too much time thinking about it. Burglars seem more likely, but you didn’t interrupt me and say, “Burglars seem more likely,” because you already know who the perpetrator is, don’t you.
So where is my cup? Where is it? I’ll lick your iniquitous face until you tell me what you did with it. I’m told my tongue’s extremely abrasive and unpleasant, so there’s an additional layer of discomfort on top of the initial anxiety of being licked. No one’s leaving this apartment until my cup is produced and the thief identified, so you sit back down, you filthy cup-slut. Don’t look at me like that. I’m not the crazy one here. I’m not the one who stole someone’s only cup, leaving him no choice but to dig beneath the bubbling brown sink gak for a cup that could only be cleaned by a multimillion dollar EPA taskforce, to reenact the toilet scene from Trainspotting for a simple drink of water, to be unable to wash down his medication because he must stick to his principles. No, I haven’t had my medication today — the pills are too enormous to swallow without water — so I can’t predict what I might do if the cup’s not found. I could do anything! Anything!
I’m taking off my clothes now, all of my clothes. What am I going to do now, I wonder? SIT BACK DOWN OR I SWEAR TO GOD I’LL KILL YOU! I’ll keep smashing dishes on the floor until the cup is produced or until I run out of dishes. Is this framed family photo important to — I just smashed it. Here’s your iPhone — smashed. An empty beer bottle, not at all valuable to you, but still — smashed. And now look at me, observe my expression: cold, detached, not a trace of remorse. No indication of pain as I roll around in the razor sharp shards of shattered china, blood gushing from — oh here’s my cup. It was under the table.