An empty Harley Davidson coffee mug stood on my writing desk, and I wondered why. It looked as if it had something to say, but it said nothing because it was a coffee mug. I liked it though; it was sexy. So I picked it up and threw it on the floor, shattering it to pieces. I was the kind of guy who liked to break stuff. Don’t ask me why.
My mom must have heard the mug being shattered from the living room, because she shouted: “What now, Chris? What did you break?”
This happened either in mid-June or early July last year, a few weeks before Elsa and I broke up. I hated Elsa, to tell you the truth, and for many obvious reasons. For instance, when we went to Gemmayze for drinks, she always ordered a Bloody Mary.
“That’s what old people drink.” I used to say.
“No, Chris.” She would say. “Bloody Mary is a mature drink.”
And while drinking it slowly – taking tiny sips once every five thousand years – she kept chewing on celery sticks for some reason. I didn’t like that about her, not at all – chewing on sticks and stuff. Celery sucks.
So this coffee mug I was telling you about was a present from Elsa. I didn’t know it then, when I first found it standing there on my writing desk, I mean. But I broke it anyway. Later, when I knew it was from her, it all made sense and I felt good about myself. Elsa sucked, and her gifts sucked, too. I didn’t even like coffee then.
My mom once told me to be nice to her. I don’t know why.
The only reason I went out with Elsa was that she had a car. She drove me around and all. I was seventeen, she was eighteen. I was funny and all, but she was all too ugly. My friends always said that I was too funny to be with such an ugly girl. But I didn’t think I was funny though; I was dead serious. I told my friends that she had a good personality so that they would leave me alone. But that was a lie. I lied about her personality. Her personality sucked.
I put all the broken pieces of the coffee mug in a plastic bag and kept it in my closet. I don’t know why.
My mom once told my dad that I needed to see a psychiatrist, or a psychologist, or someone who could help. She said I’ve been reading The Catcher in the Rye over and over, and she didn’t think that was healthy. She said that Chapman, the guy who shot John Lennon, was obsessed with the book, too.
Anyway, I couldn’t sleep that night, all the while thinking about the broken coffee mug in the closet. For a moment, I felt sorry for Elsa, for her Jewish nose and sad Palestinian eyes, for her moustache and all. So I called her.
“Hello?” It was her mother who answered after three or four rings. Elsa’s mother was so hairy that she could keep a legit goatee. Elsa’s mother was a man.
“Hey, Ma’am. It’s Chris. Can I talk to Elsa, please?” I swallowed my saliva.
“Do you know what time it is? Elsa’s asleep.”
“I know, I know.” I said. “It’s two-thirty. I’m sorry. But it’s really important.”
A minute or so later, I heard Elsa on the other side.
“Chris?” She asked. “Are you crazy?”
“Yeah, listen.” I said. “I’ve been thinking about us and all.”
“And?” She waited.
“Well, nothing really. It’s just that I wanted you to know that… that even though you’re ugly and have no personality, it doesn’t mean that I have the right to break stuff, especially the gifts that you get for me. I mean, you’re really nice. Only you look like a Jew and…”
(I never knew that J.D. Salinger, the guy who wrote my favorite book, was a Jew.)
As you might have expected, the conversation I had with Elsa that night didn’t go so well. But, after that night, I never broke stuff for fun again. Ever. I don’t know why.
© Chris Khatchadourian and World of Gauche, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Chris Khatchadourian and World of Gauche with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.