Friday, February 3, 2012

Into the Abyss

It started out like any other Friday morning. I had just gotten Jiro (my son) to comb the mop atop his head and watched him dart out the door and off to school, the wind turning his long locks into wings of Mercury as he dashed down the slope that leads away from our home. After closing the iron gates to our yard that Jiro had just seconds ago crashed through, as he does every morning on his one man race to get to school on time, I bent down to tip open the lid on the milk box. The morning preparations to get everybody up and out had all been smooth sailing but nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to witness.

AHHHHHHH! The box was completely and utterly empty. Where there should have been a liter-size carton of Takanashi’s fresh Hokkaido low fat milk, there was an absolute abyss, nothing but endless void, or at least ten cubic inches of it anyway. 

The same milkman has been bringing dairy products of every kind to my wife and her extended family who call this valley home for nearly  half a century and he has never missed a delivery, not once. There was only one explanation. We had been burgled! I had been touched by crime before in the years since I moved to what I was told was the safest country in the world, but never felt its dastardly grasp reach in and shake me to the very core like it did today.

I had just brewed a cup of tea for Pete’s sake. There it was patiently waiting for me on the kitchen counter. Now what was I to do, do without my spot of milk? Oh horrors! As the scorching-hot, bitter beverage burned a path across my tongue and down my throat, I began to narrow down a list of suspects in my head. It all boiled down to a question of motivation. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks: CAT PEOPLE!

They are everywhere you turn in this neighborhood. Now of course we all know that cats love milk and that the cat people who “own” them will do anything to satisfy these felines’ desires. All I had to do was put two and two together and the Case of the Abyss was solved. There could be no other explanation, no need for further investigation. It was a simple crime of necessity and who among us hasn’t been there or but for the grace of God not been there.

"Every man is an abyss. You get dizzy looking in." -- Woyzeck

Related true crime post: It Happens

More about giving boxes from The Utne Reader: Giving Boxes

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