I was a bit of a stray collector in those days. I never intended to have my classmate become my permanent roommate, but if that had worked out, I probably would have been fine with it. But that's not how things worked out. It's always hard to live with people. We all have our quirks. I had grown up with a brother, so I was used to hair left in the shower, or the toilet seat being up. Those really weren't a big deal. But being sneaky or dishonest was a deal-breaker.
|"A Broken Glass," by Kit Umscheid|
So what happened?
We were living in Brooklyn, but we both would also still go home and visit our families on the weekend from time-to-time; my family in New Jersey, his in upstate New York. I had returned from such a weekend to find a sink full of dishes — again, not exactly a big deal, just a small annoyance. I didn't have that many glasses or dishes, so would have to wash what was in the sink to be able to use them. I turned on the water and grabbed a sponge and some dish soap and started washing the plates and forks, my mind drifting. I then reached for a juice glass, putting the sponge inside, and turning it, twisting it, to get the suds over the inside of the glass. Suddenly I glanced down into the sink and wondered why it reminded me of the shower scene in Psycho. Blood was swirling down the drain. I looked from the bottom of the sink to the glass and my hand. My hand was bleeding, between the thumb and index finger. The glass had been broken, perfectly, horizontally, and then put back together. Put back into the sink. As if done by a three year old. Maybe she won't find out. She won't know that I did it. What a jerk. Luckily, the gash wasn't deep enough to warrant stitches, but I still have a scar.
I gave him until the end of the week. I never really got angry with him, or scolded him, or told the story (much), but we were never really friends after that incident. Understandably. A few months later, as I was going through some of my books in a bookcase I heard something drop down to the floor behind it. I fished out the object. It was my grandmother's pinking shears, broken, hidden behind some pieces of trimmed cardboard. He had used my seamstress grandmother's pinking shears to cut thick cardboard for some project. And then apparently broken them and hidden them. What sort of infantile behavior would do crap like this? Twice?
Things get broken. It happens. But every once in a while I have to wonder how and why this brand of sneakiness, something that I have dealt with on occasion with my daughter — who's nine years old — had extended into adulthood. Granted, twenty-somethings are not as grown-up as they think they are, but to put a broken glass back in a sink instead of just throwing it out. It still boggles my mind.