I’ve only been on campus for two days, but it’s official; I have found my arch nemesis. “You? An arch nemesis?” you might ask. But it’s true, I have been sucked into battle, into the embroilment of contention, and I don’t think there’s any way out of it. “But who could this enemy be?” It’s a formidable one, this opponent of mine, one you would never even think would strike out in such a manner – the bathrooms. Yes, I kid you not, the bathrooms.
Each stall in the bathrooms on campus is a completely enclosed stall, like a little closet, or the mouth of a monster. Because they are enclosed, they each need their own light, and in order to conserve energy, each light is outfitted with a motion sensor. These motion sensors have little red lights on them that turn on when the light goes off, similar to the glowing red eye of some terrifying creature in the dark. How did I discover this chilling resemblance to the stuff of nightmares? Well I’m telling you, the bathrooms have declared war. In fact, there is one particular stall in one particular bathroom that seems to have it out for me, and I made the mistake of using it twice. The first time, as the door squealed shut behind me like an underhand growl of warning and the lock snapped into place like jaws determined to hold me fast, I felt something in the air that seemed to tell me I was in for trouble. (Or perhaps it was just the semi stale odor of a public restroom…) I didn’t realize though the force that I was up against, so of course I paid no head to the warning growl or the voracious snap of the lock. I innocently began to make use of the facilities, when all of a sudden, the light turned off. Annoyed, I waved my hand in front of the sensor, and the light turned back on. But the bathroom wasn’t going to give up so easily. The light turned back off. I realized it was actually turning on and off by itself at intervals the perfect length to reveal to me the eye staring at me from the sensor. It was like the slow, steady blink of a monster – the light would turn off, and the beady red eye would open; the light would turn on, and the eye would close. I stared at it, mesmerized, like an innocent bird caught in the gaze of the snake. But I shook off the fear that was beginning to build, took charge of the situation, flushed, and marched out of that stall. Unfortunately, I think this rather enraged the beast. I went back to the same stall some time later, forgetting the vendetta it seemed to have against me, and the same thing happened. Only this time, I realized right away what was going on. The malicious squeal of the door, the hungry snap of the lock, the slow and reptilian blink of the read beady eye. I tried to do the same as I had before and take control of the situation, but it was determined to win this time. It wouldn’t flush. It made a sniveling show of pretence, swirling some water around the bowl, but it refused to swallow. I, of course, couldn’t let a bathroom win (although it is indeed a worthy opponent), so I summoned all my courage and demanded that the monster give in. I pushed down the button with all the force I had in my thumb, demanding with all my strength, until at last the creature was beaten. It relented, overcome for the moment by my prowess. However, as I left the stall, the lock seemed to be a little bit more sticky and the door seemed to protest a little more loudly, as though the stall was unwilling to give up the fight. At the moment, I’m not sure whether or not I’ll give that stall another chance for revenge. However, if the bathrooms continue to keep this up, I don’t know how long I’ll last. A person can only win so many battles, you know?