It had been a long day. I was done thinking about workshops, papers, and readings. All I wanted was to turn the bathroom lock to occupied and take a shower. After laboriously gathering my shower caddy, robe, and towels, I entered the first available stall. When I turned on the light, I stood there annoyed. One sopping towel hung from the metal hook, and another one lay drenched on the floor. Water pooled below the hanging one. If I’d been paying less attention, I would have slipped.
The Bathroom Bastard had struck again. There had been whispers and rumors around my floor for weeks now. They crept into the Genesee Hall bathroom stalls when no one was around and did their worst. I would have preferred to be kept off their victim list, but I didn’t get the luxury of choosing. However, I’d heard that towels were usually too subtle for the Bathroom Bastard’s taste — maybe this wasn’t their work?
I tried to be optimistic while entering the second stall, but then I felt water squelch underneath my shower shoes. Great. Wet floor. Not a good sign. I switched on the light. The sight before me was worse than expected. Someone had let water run all over the floor during their shower and then attempted to clean it up. And by attempted, I mean, there was toilet paper strung out across the floor — another mess that I didn’t feel like dealing with.
I walked to the end of the first line of stalls and found the third one to be occupied. Either the Bathroom Bastard was at work or someone luckier than I had found a stall in decent condition.
I meandered over to the second row of stalls. The one at the end was vacant. I pressed down on the handle and opened the door.
Stepping into the room, conscious of the puddles that may await me, I clung to the wall and pressed the light on. The floor was dry, even clean. There were no drenched towels or abandoned shower caddy items littering the stall. The toilet seat was down, indicating that the man who had previously been in here decided to be considerate — how touching. The shower curtain was drawn, preventing that mold growth we’d been warned about. Finally, I was safe from the Bathroom Bastard.
I set my shower caddy on the floor, hung my towels on the hook, and put my conditioner, shampoo, and soap on the sink. As I was about to turn on the shower, I noticed the trash can; something was odd about it. It wasn’t piled high with paper towels like usual. It wasn’t filled with weird items, as I had witnessed before. My eyes began to focus, and I took in the strange tint of the trashcan, the excess liquid, and the discomforting smell. It was urine. Someone or something had urinated in the trash can, as if the toilet wasn’t close by.
What godforsaken asshole had done this? I tried to not believe it had been my floormates. I was forced to think that maybe it was an angry racoon or that squirrel who lives in the trash can outside. Maybe he was the Bathroom Bastard. Despite not being very informed about animal intelligence or anatomy, I guessed that the squirrel could not have been behind this. Maybe it was someone from a different floor who had a vendetta with one of my floormates? Perhaps it was someone from a different dorm who was envious of our private stalls? My phone began to buzz: my floor group chat was blowing up. Most of the time, I turned off the notifications for that chat because there were just so many. I opened the chat and found that someone had discovered the second stall I had entered. They too had been disgusted by the soaked floor and littered toilet paper. I waited to see if anyone would fess up, if I could put a name to the jerk who had ruined my chances of taking of shower. But no one did. Even though I tried to convince myself that this was a person who had gone rogue, I knew this was a lie. This unacceptable behavior is the result of letting college kids run wild. They had less responsibility and more independence being away from their parents. This is how they used it. I decided to take a shower at a later time. I had hope that the Bathroom Bastard had been shamed enough by the group chat (if it was someone on the floor) to go into retirement, at least for a little while.
But not that much hope.