by Matthew J. Swanson
I used to have this roommate, Arnold, and he was a bit of a fuck-face. In fact, he was obnoxious and screwed up to the point where he was intolerable. He intentionally did things to make those around him uncomfortable, he had a warped, just mean sense of humor, and, yeah, he pretty much was a fucker in every way – no nicer way to put it. There were only a few months left on the lease when this whole ordeal happened, and I was just counting down the days until I could cut this guy out of the script of my crap life. If only I had picked the other applicant on Craig’s List for a roomy. I mean, the guy had a thick Asian Indian accent, but I’m sure he was a nice enough guy and would have paid his rent on time and shit. Anyway, I picked this butthole because he seemed funny when I showed him around, and here I am.
So, one day I’m watching something on ESPN with this guy, and out of the clear blue sky he says to me:
“You know, it wouldn’t be that hard to get away with killing someone. Now, I don’t mean someone you know because then they’d bust you. I mean someone completely random, maybe in a location nowhere near your house, someone alone.”
This is type of shit he would say all the time, honestly. And he went on.
“These serial killers, they get carried away, killing over-and-over, but if any of them had stopped at one or two murders, I guarantee guys life Jeffrey Dahmer could be living next to you right now, maybe occasionally taking some body parts out of his fridge and heating them up for supper for old time’s sake.”
At first it seemed like one of his usual idiotic theories, but as he went on talking about it, I could see the wheels turning; He really seemed to be formulating a plan, the sick fucker.
“Also, these guys get all nutty with their killing, picking the same types of people, having calling-cards and trademarks because in reality, they want to get caught. If I didn’t want to get caught, which I don’t because jail seems downright shitty, I’d just bump off some totally random person, maybe by clubbing them to death with a wrench or something in the middle of the night with no one around, and then get rid of the wrench, leaving no fingerprints anywhere. Guns make too much noise, and plus those shell casings end up everywhere, and guys always seem to get busted that way on that reality show on cable where they track down the murderers.”
I think he probably could have continued like this for hours, as he loved to hear himself talk, but I told him what a psycho I always thought he was and excused myself. A couple nights later, on a Saturday, I came home blind drunk to find him sitting with his stupid slippers kicked up on the ottoman, watching the local news. We talked for a while, and I couldn’t tell you just what in the hell was said for the first half hour or so because I was completely schnockered, but I do remember him looking me dead in the face and saying:
“You see this girl they’re talking about who got beat to death in Bucktown? And remember how I said how easy it would be to get away with something like that? Well, what do you think?”
And he just sat there looking at me with that stupid wry smile of his. Now, I have this thing about violence against women; I just hate it. So, I kind of lost it on him.
“You’re serious right now aren’t you, Arnold? You sick motherfucker! You know this poor girl had a family and dreams and a job and stuff, and you just did this to her to prove a theory of yours? No, you’re going down for this!”
He just sat there smiling, which pissed me off even more, so I stood up and got in his face, standing over him.
“There is no way you’re getting away with this, asshole.”
Then I grabbed him, and pulled him down to the floor, and this is when things got really hazy. I remember at first it was just sort of a wrestling match, but then punches were exchanged, and I don’t remember who started with that, but I do remember smacking his head against our dirty hardwood floor many, many times, rolling over, and falling asleep. The next day when I woke up, we were both lying on the floor, I was pretty banged up, but he looked a lot worse. His head was resting in a pool of blood. His blood. He was fucking dead. Dead!
I would later learn that Chicago police detained and convicted the man who beat that poor girl to death. Arnold was just playing one of his sick jokes on me that night. Why didn’t he let up? He knows I have a thing about people hurting women, and he knows I was piss drunk. But you know, if I didn’t kill that prick, someone else would have. People like that kind of need to die. If it is God’s plan for me to spend the rest of my life in jail for killing someone, I’m glad it was that guy that I killed because he really was a jerk, a little evil, and an awful roommate. He really was.