If These Walls Could Talk, Part III

(Read Part II)

But something’s wrong. It’s been a good 20 seconds since the seismic event, and the door to the hallway hasn’t opened. That’s how you get to the bathroom. You go out the door. Because the bathroom is down the hall. We only have a … sink.

“Sink” blazes across my brain’s horizon like the first shots fired at Lexington and Concord.

I lean over the side of my bed to see him hunched in front of the mirror, holding both sides of the narrow counter in a death grip. I go to open my mouth, but I’m too horrified to make a sound. Almost on cue, he fills in the blank. Repeatedly.

“Try to keep it in the bowl,” I mutter half-heartedly as I lie back down. I mean, is him heeding this advice really going to make the situation that much better? It would definitely make the cleanup easier, but my face comes dangerously close to that sink’s surface twice a day, every day, when I wash my face and brush my teeth—not to mention that I sometimes drop my contact in there. Do I need to encourage him to redecorate the space with whatever he had at the dining hall nine hours ago?

As for our nasty-ass carpet, say what you will: that the stain by the door resembles a hobbit jumping rope, that smelling of Febreze isn’t a true mark of cleanliness, that the shag couldn’t be nastier if it developed the capacity to think and actively tried to disgust passersby. One thing it never does, though, is get all up in my grill in the course of my normal routine, so whatever finds its way down there is of minimal concern in the big scheme of things.

Judging by the noises coming from his direction, I’m pegging the sink-to-floor ratio at somewhere around three to one. Sounds like he’ll have to tend to both spots in the morning. I’m caught somewhere between a satisfied smile prompted by his pending chore and a gag reflex triggered by the present condition of our room.

Unlike the drunken conversation we just had, this is thankfully the first time we’ve travelled down this gnarly path. I feel like it’s the kind of thing one of you does once, and you both learn the lesson. It’s just too bad no one warns you about these hidden perils of dorm life before it’s too late.


That would mean … no one warned all those other guys, either, who we’ve already established were delightfully similar to the two of us. So even though neither my roommate nor I have previously defiled our sink and/or the surrounding area, chances are many of the others did in much the same way we’re experiencing now. And I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt assuming they wouldn’t be repeat offenders. Who’s to say that’s true? The admissions standards have gotten significantly higher at this place over the years—again, the taxidermy program notwithstanding. Who knows what kinds of future quack doctors or ambulance-chaser lawyers called room 457 home? They may have been stupid enough to do this every weekend.

History gets a lot less fun once there’s vomit involved, and this room, pardon the expression, has been swimming in it for years.

You don’t unearth a little nugget like that and then just peacefully slip back to sleep. At least I don’t. I wish I did, however, because I have an awful sense that this observation might prove to be the gateway drug to a whole host of realizations about our 10×20-foot cell that I’d prefer not to have.

I’ve hardly had time to dread where this could lead when I feel him climb back into his bunk. It would appear the worst of it is over. Hopefully now he’ll just stay there, because you can’t discover anything gross about your room when your roommate is sound asleep, right? Tucked away, in that bed, which up until an hour ago was just where he slept, but now that I’m looking for ways to freak myself out seems like nothing less than a monument to sloppy college hookups.

Damn it. See? Gateway drug.

Read Part IV

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