I reached back behind a carton of coconut water (which I bought wanting to be all healthy-man, but never drank more than one because they were disgusting), and pulled out a plastic tumbler half-full of something.
I had actually been looking for this cup for some time. It was the fourth of a collection of four, and it had always stumped me why it wasn’t there when I unloaded the dishwasher.
Finding it solved that riddle.
I gazed inside and immediately saw the most disgusting sight you can imagine.
But not just any milk.
Milk that had been in that cup for at least four months. Maybe six. I don’t know.
How I never smelled it, I also don’t know. How I never found it, well, I guess I know that, but still. Why? How? When?
I can not think back to any time, place, or circumstance in which that cup should have been placed there.
The top of the milk was actually a bit crusty. It was more wrinkled than a hundred year old man and had less color in it than a corpse. On it, however, was a nice thick layer of fuzzy mold. I swirled it a bit, trying not to let the appearance of it get to me. It didn’t move. It had dried out long ago.
Or so I thought.
I then made the very real mistake of trying to clean this cup and make it usable again. After all, I wanted that particular cup collection to finally be complete once more.
I tried beating the old milk into the garbage can. It wouldn’t budge.
So, I grabbed a disposable spoon and decided to pry it out.
This is where everything went to hell.
You see, only the top inch or so of milk was dry. Underneath that layer was a somewhat liquid, very rotten, very powerfully rancid layer of old milk.
The spoon busted through and instantly the goop started bubbling out.
How I didn’t pass out in that moment, I don’t know. Any person with a better nose than I have (which is the entire human population) would not have made it, I guarantee you.
I will never forget that smell.
I will have Vietnam-type flashbacks of that smell.
And just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, I went and made things a lot worse.