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Musings of a Red Solo Cup

by Ruth Marks

My existence is fleeting and was always meant to be fleeting. I’ve understood this fact since my conception. Since my plastic was heated and shaped and colored red. Since I tasted life and sentience for the first time. A one time thing, a solo cup, to be disposed of and disregarded once a human decides they are fulfilled. I have known this since my days in the factory, since being ripped from my packaging. So why am I only lamenting this pitiful existence now, at the precipice of death?

It just isn’t fair.

It’s not fair. I’m the one who has become drunk on life, on living and existing among these humans. Why must my purpose be predestined, to serve others, while the humans take advantage of us. Imbibing cup after cup and discarding cup after cup uninhibited by the concept of their existence.

It is getting closer.

I watched the party dwindle and die, I have spent my final earthly minutes lamenting, musing, contemplating possible solutions, a way out. In the silence of the wee hours of the morning, in the peace following the boosted bass and hyperpop and strobe lights of the best party of the season, I begged for some type of key. I have racked my mind, but there is no salvation. I must accept what has always been inevitable. I hear the vacuum turn on upstairs, the sneakered approach of the frat brothers picking up my crushed kin off the ground.

The end is nigh. Destruction imminent.

I take in my surroundings for the last time. I savor the feeling of the dewy remnants of mead on my form, the last drops long gone dry. I relish the scent of the stale sweat from the bodies packed into the living room, remembering the pounding of their dirty soles kicking up dirt and debris. But I have served my purpose. Unsheathed, filled, roofied, dropped, crushed, forgotten. I have been used and useful.

Not much time left now. I don’t want to go.

But my existence as a red solo cup is fleeting, and was always meant to be so. This is a fact I have known since my conception.

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