The one consolation this week whenever I returned to my half of the Spartan quad, with its jaundiced light, its bed high enough to avoid flood waters, its shower head that spritzes wildly from its seam over the shower curtain, and its toilet that refuses to stop running, was that at least I had it all to myself. Not anymore.
When I came back this afternoon after a run, I was just about to peel off my clothes and hop in the shower when I heard a knock at the door. At first, because of the way sound carries in the building, I wasn't sure it was my door. There was another knock. I could tell then it was definitely my door, so I decided to go answer it. I thought maybe the guy staying in a room on the other side of the quad had forgotten his key. Sweating all over the floor like a snail leaving its path of slime, I was just about to reach for the door when it opened, and in stepped the dull-eyed duo from Sunday's check-in table.
"Hi, we're _____ and _____ from the Residence Life office."
Oh, trust me, I hadn't forgotten you.
"Someone who'd been assigned the wrong room is moving into Room C. We're here to check it first."
What? How is there even such a thing as a wrong room? I'd understand if there were a reservation mix up--"I asked for a cell on the second floor overlooking the courtyard. The one who gave me overlooks the laundry mat." But nobody here reserved a room! And this is the third day of the conference, so the man didn't just check in today. That means he's been in the wrong room since at least Monday. Why not just let him stay there? Obviously he had no way of knowing he'd been in the wrong room. It's not like he woke up this morning feeling uneasy and thought, "Man, something's weird. I don't know why, but it feels like I'm in the wrong room." I'm guessing the dull-eyed duo or the Chief of Sprinkler Safety noticed they'd given him the wrong room and thought they'd better fix their mistake, inconveniencing the guy by making him move and ruining my beloved solitude.
I know there's a good chance I won't see or hear the guy at all tonight. But the morning is another story. I'm not a morning person. My mother-in-law even got me a t-shirt for Christmas one year that reads, "Good Morning Is an Oxymoron." I can get up early--I have to most days--I'm just not happy to. I can't stand anyone's perkiness before at least 8:30, and I can muster little more than grunts, nods, and half-waves anytime earlier than 7:00. (I make exceptions for my wife and daughter.) Because I prefer as little human contact as possible until I've had breakfast, drunk a cup of coffee, and regained full consciousness, I've been forcing myself out of bed at 6:30 this week. Now with a quadmate, I'm going to have to get up even earlier. Otherwise I may have to wait to shower and run out of time to eat breakfast. Or, worse yet, I may have to share the sink with him, each waiting our turn to spit and rinse. I'll take 100 tote bags over that any day.