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Acceptable Glass

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There is still half an inch of scotch in the glass. He picks it up, and studies it in the light given off by the desk lamp. It's a good glass, given (he thinks) as a wedding gift. There are seven identical glasses in the cupboard above and to the right of the kitchen sink. They are the only ones he ever uses.

The routine is the same nearly every time: retrieve the glass, set it down, drop in two ice cubes (from just the right height). That part never changes. The amount he pours in the glass always varies, thought it is never only a single drink.

Now, staring at the glass in his hand, he wonders just how many drinks it has been.

He gives up trying to count a moment later, and throws the glass against the wall instead. For such a heavy glass, it shatters into more pieces than he thought it would.

He goes into the kitchen, reaching instinctively for a glass in the cupboard above the sink. Pouring only water into it, he walks back out into the living room.

He'd better get that mess cleaned up; can't have Mallory cutting herself when she comes down to get ready for school. It's Show and Tell day today, and she'll be heartbroken if she misses it.

He waits until she's left for school before getting another glass from the cupboard.