Last weekend we had a bunch of people over for dinner. I picked up a few two-liter bottles of soda, which, I don’t know, I couldn’t really figure out how many I should have bought, I had no idea how much soda people were planning on drinking. I’d say in total, about one and a half liters went, but it was like half a liter from each bottle. And so, as the rest of the week went by, I’d stare at these bottles, wanting to dump them all down the drain, but my roommate insisted on keeping them around, “I’ll drink them!” he said.
And maybe he had a glass the next day, but no more than a glass, because the days passed and I started to keep track of the soda level inside each bottle. Day after day, it wasn’t going down, I told Bill, I was like, “Hey man, we really have to get rid of this soda,” and he was like, “Why? Just leave it there, it doesn’t matter,” but I tried to argue, I was like, “Bill, that stuff’s getting flatter every day, nobody’s ever going to drink it, let’s just dump it, what is it, like three dollars? Come on, you couldn’t pay me three dollars to drink a cup of flat soda.”
But I think I pushed a little too far, now Bill was starting to push back just for the sake of pushing back, which I don’t get, not everything has to be a huge power struggle, but still, he averted his eyes, I think he might have called me a “soda elitist,” which I actually took as a compliment, because yes, when it comes to soft drinks, I think you have to be exacting in your standards. Otherwise why spend money at all on bottled drinks? If you don’t care about the carbonation, you might as well just buy packets of Kool-Aid, it’s significantly cheaper.
We were at a stalemate. I started buying new soda, smaller sized bottles. I’d keep them nice and cold in the fridge. On Wednesday night I ordered some pizzas and asked Bill, “Hey man, help yourself. You want a nice cold Coke to go with that?” It was the Mexican kind, the stuff that comes in the glass “hecho en Mexico” bottles, real sugar, delicious. “Yeah man, that sounds great.” And so I popped one open and extended my arm before laying down, “So, uh, I guess this means we can get rid of those big guys over there, right?”
“Actually,” he recoiled his hand, “That’s a good point. You have the bottle, I’m going to work on those leftovers.” What a jerk. Just admit it when you’re wrong. And he went over to the counter, the bottle had all of these little condensation drops on the inside from having not been opened in so long, when he opened the top, and I was listening, there wasn’t even the slightest sound of any air escaping. That soda had to have been completely flat for a few days now.
But he filled up his glass with ice, I asked him for a glass also, for my fresh Coke, I wanted him to see the bubbles dancing out of the top, when I took that first sip, I made this exaggerated face, like they tickling my nose. “Ahh,” that ridiculous refreshing sound after I took my first sip, to which Bill offered the same thing with his sip, but I could tell by the look on his face that it was gross, he kind of puckered up as he tried to choke it down.
But what came next, it was probably the low point of our friendship. I was like a slice and a half deep into dinner, and I had just taken a huge sip from my drink. While I had the rest of the pizza in my hand, Bill grabbed the two liter bottle and poured the sickly contents of that expired plastic bottle right into my cup, right on top of my good soda. I still had probably more than twenty-five percent of the cup filled with the good stuff, and it was ruined, the rest of my drink spoiled by Bill polluting it with his week-old poison.
I turned my head and said, “Get that shit out of my face,” placing extra emphasis on the word shit, just to really drive home that point, like hey Bill, that was a real dick move buddy, you want to play games with your own soda? Fine. But you’ve totally crossed a line here. And he just kind of smiled at me, “What? Just giving you a little refill,” before taking a huge bite out of his slice, the pizza that I bought for him.
I went into a rage. I grabbed that bottle, I ran to the sink, I started emptying it out down the drain. There were still the other two bottles, and Bill made a move toward the kitchen, like what was he going to do, try and stop me? I grabbed a knife out of the block and stabbed a few holes right in the bottom. “What the hell man? That’s my soda!” he screamed as I placed the leaking bottles from the counter into the kitchen sink.
Bill looked like he was going to make a move, like he was going to push me or something, and so, I don’t know, I guess I was a little more agitated than I thought. I held out the knife still in my hands, like go ahead and try something. Not that I had any intentions of actually stabbing him. The whole situation had steered out of control. And that’s when I screamed out, “Steve!” because while we were fighting in the kitchen, my dog Steve had quietly jumped off the couch and made a move for the pizza. And he got it, it only took him like three or four bites, and he polished off everything.