Open Letter to the Communal Bathroom
Dear Communal Bathroom,
We met on August 29. Do you remember that day? I was sweating; I was completely exhausted from watching some upperclassman football players carry my bags down the stairs to my room. It was a pretty humid day. There I was: overwhelmed, anxious, the typical new kid. And there you were: fresh, welcoming, and full of promise. Our first night together—well, it wasn’t the best shower I’ve ever had, but I’ve definitely had worse.
Things were good between us for a while after that. You were the first thing I saw when I woke up in the morning, and the last thing I saw before I went to sleep. I needed you, and you knew it. You were my source of comfort and cleanliness.
However, I should have realized that first weekend that I couldn’t depend on you. I was in denial. When you ran out of hand soap, I barely said a word. I even let you borrow some of mine, because all good relationships require a little bit of compromise. But now I can’t even count on you for toilet paper anymore.
It’s clear that things are getting out of hand. I mean, have you looked at yourself lately? You’re a mess, and there’s nothing charming about it. Playing guess-that-substance with whatever it is in that sink of yours has gotten old, fast. Your anti-absorbent “paper towels” do nothing for me these days. I’m just so sick of cleaning up after you.
I know how much it bothers you when I compare you to my old bathroom, but at least with my old one, I was guaranteed a toilet for myself. And I know it’s superficial, but would it kill you to match all of your porcelain? No amount of eerie flickering fluorescent lighting could hide the fact that you’ve let yourself go. I’d tell you to look in a mirror, but your mirrors are too dirty.
And another thing: do you think I don’t know about all the other girls? Do you think I haven’t noticed the horrifying glob of hair in your drain or the nauseating stench of mixed perfumes? I don’t think I could produce that much hair if I tried. Besides, I’m clearly not blonde. And I’m not even going to bring up that mysterious bar of Dove body soap that keeps finding its way to different locations. Okay but really, where does that thing come from?
I have spent far too much time and energy worrying about you, wondering with whom you have spent your night. I should have known that it was silly of me ever to believe that I could have you to myself. What hurts the most is coming home from a stressful day of classes to find you completely occupied. I guess you just don’t have time for me anymore.
I’m done. I’m done tiptoeing around the truth with you so I’m just going to say it: I’m leaving. I’ve found a nice all-female bathroom on the upper floor, and I’ve been spending a lot of time there. I’m not going to lie—it isn’t anything like the bond we used to share. But its shower curtains are mold-free, and from time to time I can even get the water to that just-right temperature. Right now, it gives me what I need, and that’s enough.
In the end, I’m like everyone else: I just want a place to hang my towel at night. I’m really sorry it had to come to this. Get yourself together, clean yourself up, and maybe we can talk.