It’s been three years to the day since Eric was poking around behind the washing machine down in the basement looking for a sock that he dropped, when he discovered the incomprehensibly deep and gaping void. But it still feels like just yesterday that we all worked together to push the washer out of the way and move the stack of old milk crates that allowed us to enter the cavern containing the utterly empty abyss. Back then, we weren’t really sure what to make of it, whether our landlord would ding us on our security deposit for it, why we had never seemed to be able to notice the strange rock formation that serves as the cave’s mouth in the middle of the otherwise brick wall until someone explicitly pointed it out to us. And don’t even get us started on how deep it is or where it leads; we’re still arguing about that! The first few times we tossed rocks and pieces of wood into it and never heard them hit ground, or sides, or any surface whatsoever, it made us kind of nervous to have this thing in the apartment. But now, three years later, the vast and incomprehensible emptiness contained within the hole has basically become a fourth roommate and we wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s why on this very special day, we’ve decided to share with the world the top five times we were truly grateful for the yawning, unfathomable void hidden behind the washing machine in the basement.

5. That time we had way more recycling than we could fit in the barrel and trash day wasn’t for another five days

When Astead bought his rowing machine, we all thought he was crazy. That thing, in one of our tiny bedrooms?! No way, dude! Little did we know that the massive box dropped on our doorstep was mostly filled with cardboard packaging. By the time he got the thing put together, we were less worried about it taking up space in his room and more worried about all this trash taking up the whole apartment. We tried to cart as much as we could out to the barrels, but this was on a Sunday after one of our classic Saturday Night Ragers, so we barely had any room. And, as we all know, trash day is Thursday, so sitting on this for five more days was just unthinkable. That’s when one of us had the bright idea to just toss it all into the bottomless, cavernous, nothing that lives in our basement. And wouldn’t you know it, it worked! Garbage gone, just like that! This was also the first time I remember hearing its voice in my dreams.

4. When Eric accidentally started a grease fire

Eric’s always been a bit of a kitchen nightmare, if you know what I mean. But this night, he really outdid himself. After a few rounds of Wii Sports Golf with the boys (and of course a few beers), we were all feeling like a midnight snack, so Eric had the great idea to cook some delicious bacon. “Pretty epic, dude,” we all thought. At first. Things quickly got out of hand when he left the kitchen unattended for 46 straight minutes while we had an intense bowling tournament. We had a fire on our hands, and no idea what to do about it! I’ll be the first to admit that the Natty Lites were clouding my judgement a bit, but I don’t regret the decision we came to in the end: carry that bad boy down to the basement and toss it into the schism from which even light seems unable to escape. Sure, we were out a frying pan, but who knows what kind of damage we would’ve done otherwise! That night it told me how pleased it was and demanded more fire and flesh.

3. Bedbugs

Listen, I don’t want to talk too much about this one. It’s still a sore subject. I won’t assign any official blame here, but I think we all know which couch from off the sidewalk brought these intruders into our home. Luckily for us once again, we had the ink-black depth of the infinite abyss in our basement to quickly dispose of every last piece of infested furniture. Thanks to the yawning pit which has no dimensions at all, for it is simply nothingness incarnate, we avoided a pretty gnarly exterminator bill. Late that night as I stared into it while the other roommates slept, it thanked me for giving it countless lives to consume.

2. The last time we were late on rent

Our landlord was a real hardass, one of those old neighborhood guys who always needed to be paid in cash, on the due date, or else he’d come banging on our door threatening to call the cops right then and there. So when we blew just about all our June money down at the strip club last year, we knew we were about to be in a tight spot. Like clockwork, the pounding on our door came at 8am June 2nd. We tried to talk him down like we had a few times before, but he was just not having it this time. Something really crawled up his ass that morning for sure, because he even pulled his old flip phone out and started dialing the cops while he stood in our kitchen! We knew we’d have to act quick to get out of this jam, so with barely a look and nod between the three of us, we rushed the guy and managed to pick him up and start carrying him down the stairs. He must have realized what we were doing, because he started shouting, stuff like, “No! No! If you feed it this much flesh it will become too powerful!” And, “Fuck you, put me down!” But once again, the gaping expanse of utter and eternal void really saved our asses. When our hands made brief contact while high fiving after, I could feel that it had been speaking to them too, and I knew that it had also asked the same sacrifices of them. I knew it was only a matter of time. And I knew that they knew this, too.

1. Today

Flash forward to today! It’s been a wild ride, these last couple years, filled with laughs and absolutely kickass adventures. But, like they say, bros, all good things must come to an end. I saw the Amazon cart, Eric, I knew what you were planning. And, listen, Astead, you really should know better than to talk on speakerphone when you know how thin our walls are, dude! It’s alright, no hard feelings, guys. It’s all water under the bridge now, because there’s one thing that’s going to unite us forever: being a part of the unknowable depth of the unending abyss. I know it spoke to both of you too, but I’m the only one it told the real truth to, that we’re all in this together. Or, I guess, we’re about to be in it together! Forever! Haha, tite.