Thursday, February 28, 2008
The Den of Inequity
During my four years amidst the haze of college insobriety, I had the occasion to live in several different domiciles. Some of these residences, especially the legendary B102 apartment where I spent my junior and senior campaigns, were less than desirable to say the least. I even made a map of B102 showing all the places inside and outside where party-goers had used the contents of their stomachs to do a little bit of interior decorating. There was also the time that we moved the couches to discover to our surprise that the color of the carpet was actually not originally brown. One would think, then, that I would have been prepared by my previous experiences to exist in any sort of hellhole, regardless of how foully polluted. How wrong you would be to think that.
Circumstances beyond my control, involving some sort of very bizarre breakup, which I will not go into at this time, led to a last second need for a place to lay my weary head. Or simply put, my dumb ass was homeless and in desperate need of a bed. My friend Chris was kind enough to lend me his extra room for two weeks as I awaited an opening at the adjacent complex, which we had nicknamed Hoodwinds over the years. Trust me, Hoodwinds was a major upgrade over what I was about to endure. If I had dropped my shit on the ground and crashed there for a few days I probably would have been a lot happier. It only took me a few minutes inside my friend's abode to realize that I had made a major mistake.
To take in the entirety of this monstrosity would cause even the most heartless bastard to run screaming from their computer monitor, so I will go over with you one step at a time the extent of this anti-cathedral, this insult to all that is holy.
The first thing I saw upon entry was the living room, which was dotted with trash and beer stains. The adjacent kitchen was blessed with a sink overflowing with dishes and circled by fruit flies. Nothing I hadn't seen before. There was even a perk. A Playstation gaming system where we could entertain ourselves! So much beer had been poured onto the Playstation, however, that you had to put an object on top of it to get it to properly close. The machine also had a dual purpose - due to its stickiness it was a great flycatcher.
Flies were not the main problem in the living area, though, the floor was the domain of the fleas. They were everywhere. It took only a short time and a few red bite marks on my legs to realize that I could not walk around the apartment without wearing at least a pair of socks (and no I wasn't naked otherwise you dirty bastard). The fleas of course, were a feature of the whole house and their existence emanated from my favorite part of my bedroom.
The bedroom closet was the location of a boogie monster that haunted the first few days I spent in my temporary home. Chris, it so happened, was fond of keeping pets. He usually had a cat, but the last one had run away or committed suicide, so when I moved in he had a lovely ferret. This unfortunate animal was locked inside a cage and enclosed inside the closet. In my bedroom, not his. Sharing the ferret's enclosure was a pile of his own feces that made the Great Pyramids look like lame two story condos - it reminded me of the pile of skulls Tamerlane the great would erect from the corpses of his vanquished foes. Lucky for me and probably for the creature itself, the poor beast did not have to share accomodations too long, as it died on my third day there. I was, of course, forced to tell the animal's owner of the sad event of its passing. That conversation went something like this:
Me: Chris, I think your ferret is dead
Chris: No he's not, he is just resting. Beautiful plumage, the Norweigan blue.
Me: All fucking day? That's quite a nap. (Chris goes into the room and pokes the ferret with a stick)
Chris: I guess you are right.
So where could I go to escape this madness? The hall bathroom - I could just draw a bath and hide from the horrors of the rest of the house amidst a heaven of bubbles and hot water. Upon entering, it quickly became apparent that my soapy paradise was not to be, for thriving in the tub, and the sink as well, was the most impressive exhibit of mold and mildew I had hitherto seen. In fact, it is a sight I hope will never to be surpassed should I live to be as old as Liz Taylor looks. The brown scum that encircled the inside of the shower was feet thick in spots. I was scared to even approach it for fear I could be pulled inside and devoured by it and turned into a mold-covered zombie dedicated to destroying the human race for all its crimes against the fauna of the Earth. Needless to say, although there was plenty growing, the water sure as hell wasn't flowing. Any hot water excursion I would be taking would have to done in the master bathroom.
Compared with the horror I had just witnessed in the hall bathroom, Chris had an almost pristine place to shower. There was no mold in the bathtub, no mold in the sink, and the water actually worked! Yet another miracle of modern plumbing in action. Since I am sure you are waiting for the other shoe to drop, here it comes. Are you ready for it? Certain? There was a huge mass of vomit on the floor - right in the center of the room. The kind soul who had deposited his insides there had been considerate enough to dump a considerable volume of Comet onto the puke. This mess could have been easily cleaned up, but it was a matter pride for Chris that the perpetrator finish the deed himself. After a week it became clear to myself that the previous owner of the barf, who we will name Scott for the purpose of this exercise, was not going to be paying us a visit any time in the near future. Yet still the mess sat there, taunting us into inaction. Why I ask you, should I be the one to deal with the issue? Caught in this web of laziness and stubbornness, I finally broke free and forced Chris (with my help) to clean up the apartment - and then, with my two weeks of purgatory over, I moved on to my own den of iniquity over at Hoodwinds. I had escaped, but the memories still wake me screaming to this very day.