You’re a detective? Ok. Hold on. Let me just pry off these boards I’ve nailed across my door. Alright. Come in. Forgive the complete squalor, I wasn’t expecting anyone.

You have some questions? Ok. Fire away. Do I want a lawyer? No thank you. Lawyers give me the heebie-jeebies.

Where was I last Saturday night? Here at home, without a doubt. I don’t leave my apartment anymore. It’s been great. For one thing, I made a small fortune selling my shoes. Have you noticed footwear does nothing but enable you to go outside and live a fulfilling life?

No, I can’t remember what I was doing. Making banana bread? Tie-dying my bed sheets? Hard to recall specifics in the structureless void known as “a day.” But if it was a Saturday, I was probably eating cold pizza or dissociating on the couch. Why are you writing this down? I could just as easily have been staring listlessly at the ceiling while rummaging through my resentments.

Can someone confirm my whereabouts? No. I’ve lived alone since my roommate Gus moved back to Cincinnati. He couldn’t handle the deafening silence of city life. Good riddance. The guy was super selfish. He barely listened to the lazy opinions I gleaned from headlines about the latest controversies. Oh well. Not everyone understands the importance of staying informed. Gus would make up an excuse like, “I need to test my blood sugar, I’m sorry. Can we talk in two minutes?” Really Gus? Who wants to wait two minutes? For anything?

Life is better now. It’s just me, some toilet paper, and a palpable sense of impending doom—which I think is coming in through the Wifi. I’m also growing basil, which goes great on cold pizza. Living alone has so many advantages. For one thing, the basil doesn’t expect me to call the hospital if its blood sugar gets too low. I don’t even like hospitals, by the way. But did Gus even ask? Nope.

Have I been under stress? Of course. This year’s been a huge bummer. Plus, I had to move all those pizza boxes to make room for you to sit down. Do you realize how disruptive that is? It’s not good for the basil either. Basil likes consistency.

You want to talk to Gus? Why? I told you, the guy was the worst. I was constantly having to feign interest in his nonstop politeness. It was “please” this and “thank you” that. Shut up already! Ever heard of quiet desperation? Plus, he didn’t even say goodbye, let alone leave a forwarding address.

Can’t you just check my phone records? All this talking out loud is making my teeth feel weird. Oh, you can’t check phone records unless I made a call? That won’t work. I stopped talking to people months ago. I was getting nothing from people besides the simple joy of basic human companionship. Which is really distracting when you have a full Watch List on all twelve streaming services.

Actual evidence? Hm. Don’t you usually check the person’s trash? Mine’s all right here in the apartment, so knock yourself out. Just make sure to hold your nose in the bedroom, there’s a horrific stench in there. I think it’s mold.

You’re making a weird face, Detective. I wish you could see it. I’d show you, but I threw out my mirrors to avoid witnessing the slow ravages of time on my once middle-aged face.

Do you want a glass of water? I find there’s nothing better than a cool glass of water to stave off the feeling of existential dread. Except maybe vodka. But I ran out this morning.

By the way, what am I being accused of? Gus has been missing? What happened to Cincinnati? Classic Gus, he would find a way to make this all about himself.

What!?! You think he has something to do with the smell in my bedroom? Impossible! Gus refused to go in there since those stacks of canned beans almost Collyered him. I remember because it made me laugh so maniacally. I even journaled about it. I keep a very detailed journal, you know. See—right here. It was just last Saturday.


You know what, I’ll take that lawyer after all.

Sebastien Theroux is a writer living in New York City