Greg and Michelle,
You’re probably never going to read this, but my counselor in prison said that I should write letters to express my feelings, then never give them to the recipient.
So: Hi! My name’s Michael, and for the past three weeks, I’ve been hiding out in your spacious, only slightly mildewy attic. I snuck in after a daring prison escape that involved seducing a guard, slathering myself in dog urine to throw the search hounds off my scent, and hiding my escape tunnel behind a Rita Hayworth poster. The hardest part was actually tracking down a website that still sold Rita Hayworth posters.
But how I got here isn’t important.
What matters is that I’m deeply concerned about your marriage.
It started my first morning, when I was awoken by the sounds of you two screaming at each other. It was horrific. People make less noise being shanked in the shower. After listening in, I figured out the fight had started because you, Greg, had eaten the last of the yogurt and forgot to add it to the shopping list. So now there was none for Michelle’s breakfast.
Now, I know the feeling—I once had a cellmate who drank the last of our toilet wine without telling me. Between that, his snoring, and the fact he was a child molester, he was generally pretty unlikable. But no matter how much he annoyed me, I never raised my voice with him. Because I know it’s not the way adults solve arguments.
Though that’s obviously news to you two. I’ve come to realise your only communication methods are shouting at each other, passive-aggressive snipes, or giving each other the silent treatment. It’s the worst communication I’ve experienced since we tried to start a prison book club. The Latin Kings and the Aryan Brotherhood got in a violent debate over the themes in Blood Meridian. Three people died, and we were still no close to deciding whether the Judge was a metaphor for capitalism.
It’s obvious how much these arguments are impacting your relationship. Greg, I know you’re sleeping on the couch. And that makes my heartbreak. Especially when I can hear you sobbing as I try to sleep. It actually makes me tear up a little bit too. And I didn’t even cry when I was seven, and I saw my mother brutally murdered by my step-dad, which desensitised me to violence and set me down the crime-filled path I’m on now.
Michelle, you need to stop taking advice from your sister. I can hear your phone conversations while Greg’s playing Call of Duty in the lounge. You’d be better off getting tips from Terry Wilkshaw, a guy I did time with. Yes, he’s on death row for killing six sex workers and making sushi with their nipples, but at least he wouldn’t suggest you, “go goblin-slut mode and fuck another guy to make Greg jealous.”
But I think I’ve got a solution to your marital woes. See, I found an old laptop up here. When I wasn’t using it to send emails taunting the detective in charge of hunting me down, I took a look at your Google calendars. Do you know what I realised? You guys are making no time for each other. So I moved some things around and added a weekly date night in both of your schedules. Hopefully, you’ll each just assume that the other person created it in an attempt to be romantic. But in reality, it was me: a clever little cupid who’s been convicted multiple times of arson.
Even better, your credit card details were stored on the computer, so I’ve scheduled some Chinese takeaway to be delivered. There should even be enough for leftovers, meaning a certain escaped convict will be able and sneak down to the kitchen while you’re both at work and gorge himself on moo shu pork.
I hope that this will be enough. Because you two need to reconnect. I didn’t hold my breath and swim through a 30-yard tunnel full of human excrement to put up with this sort of living scenario. If I hear one more passive-aggressive remark or pointless argument, I’m leaving. I don’t care that the FBI has launched the state’s largest-ever manhunt to catch me. Anything is better than having to listen to you two.