The way Alice clicked her spoon against the inside of her soup bowl was starting to get to me. I’d probably heard that ceramic clink a dozen times a day, every day, for years. It had been collecting in a pool of annoyances somewhere deep in my brain, and that pool had filled to its brim and was sloshing over the side. The rising tide of anger was starting to reveal other things I despised about the woman, like the way her wrinkled lips pooched over her gums whenever she swallowed, like an octopus’s sucker searching for purchase.

She looked at me with her bloodshot and rheumy eyes. The way they bulged, and how her glasses magnified them into bloated yellow-red orbs, turned my stomach. I noticed my hands were shaking, even more than usual. The wrinkled skin that hung off their thin bones seemed to fuel my rage even further, and I formed tight little fists. I stood, and Alice’s eyes followed me up.

I don’t remember taking the soup bowl and crushing the side of her face. I certainly don’t recall continuing to bash her head in, caving the brittle cage of her skull completely inward, obliterating one of those irritating eyes until it was an unrecognizable mash of fluid and meat. They tell me I put her spoon into the other, so far into her head that they’d had trouble extracting it.

I sat alone after that, and every so often I would hear the annoying little click of a spoon against the inside of a bowl. But it was only ever my imagination.

2014.10.05 – 2023.05.29

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