This morning, I stood holding a plastic cup of juice behind Jeremy, who sat at his desk in his padded chair reading his book about who knows what, and I thought to myself as I stood behind Jeremy with my plastic cup, "with my free hand, why not tickle Jeremy," and since I do so much better with commands, I re-thought, "with thy free hand, thou shalt tickle Jeremy," so with my free hand I tickled Jeremy, in the rib area for about one and a half seconds to be specific, and I should say here that at this point my conscience was clean, as it would remain.
Of course, I had forgotten our pact of mutually-assured destruction, and in accordance with our treaty he whipped his head towards me without sound but full of fury and he punched, and in the absence of a sippy-lid my juice didn't stand a chance against Jeremy's fist which is precisely why, when Jeremy socked my juice (its innocence notwithstanding), we almost baptized the hanging kitchen light in sticky kiwi-mango-strawberry spray.
And when the juice fell like a bursting translucent dome and slapped on the grey plastiwood floor all at once, and when I looked at my speckled hand and my empty plastic cup, and when Jeremy realized what he had done and we all started to laugh, at that point life was simultaneously beautiful, tragic, and hilarious for the play of light, the loss of juice, and the clean cut-away of act and consequence, the abyss separating Jeremy's original intention from the puddle on our floor, a congealed mess of hair and dust and crumbs and sweet, sweet nectar that I could still taste even as I looked down upon it, laughing and mourning, welling with tears of jouissance and regret.
O loss of fruit, O impotent towel, O ways in which we do not do what we want. His second punch landed truly, the moment after he apologized for the mess, and in spite of my clean conscience I knew that he was perfectly entitled to it because when he hit me I represented the universe.