Last year’s move-in experience was full of lessons, none of which I internalized. The weekend before school started—the university’s designated time for parents to haul belongings into dorms the width of three arm spans as one last, thankless act to assuage empty nest syndrome—was a mess for my mom and me. It was raining heavily. We entered through the wrong door. We lifted two overweight suitcases up five flights of stairs before we found the elevators. My mom knocked over my succulent, which proceeded to slowly freeze to death over the school year (although, really, it might’ve been dead the whole time), as it sat on a windowsill above the AC, which we couldn’t adjust without having been allotted the responsibility of our own thermostat.
This year, it rained heavily. We entered through the wrong door. I took 10+ trips lugging disassembled IKEA furniture up and down the stairs because this time there were no elevators. And Mom knocked over Succulent 2.0 (gift from last year’s roommate) when the car in front of her slammed on its brake and sent a six-foot tide of water crashing down onto our windshield. Because—and how were we supposed to know—it’s apparently good practice to minimize the highway trips you take to IKEA when there’s a hurricane ravaging your state.
But 2017 did bring some novelties, most notably the dead mouse in the corner of my room. Mom was the one who brought it up—I’d seen the brown lump while tearing the wrap off my mattress, but I hadn’t ventured closer to identify the mass because then I’d actually have to acknowledge it.
When I did peer into the corner to discover that yes, it was a dead mouse, and yes, that was yellow mold growing on top of it, I felt oddly relieved. I’m not sure why, as it seems to me like moldy mice should constitute the worst-case scenario. Figuring I’d decide what to do with the carcass later, I just sat in the middle of my room, hammering away at the back of a plywood IKEA dresser in time with the howling night wind, with only the company of Mom and some unidentified furry turd.
Mom: This is horrible.
Me: Yeah, for all three of us.
Me: *points to mouse*
To clarify, I wasn’t the only one working. Mom was also struggling through IKEA instructions and doing her share of hard labor. The mouse was just being dead. (I would’ve included a picture of the mouse, except taking a picture seemed kind of disrespectful to its memory, not that our almost constant nervous laughter in its presence really honored its existence in any way.)
Then, to our great surprise, my roommate—I have a new one now that I’m living off campus, and she’s not also named Nicole for my sanity—entered my room, slipped a plastic bag over her hand, and SCOOPED UP THE DISINTEGRATING MOUSE REMAINS.
Roommate: Oh it’s no big deal, I volunteered at a place with eagles one summer.
And that’s the story of how it’s been a week and I already owe my roommate my first-born child. Not that she’s terribly interested.
Post-post: I was lucky enough to only experience heavy rain/wind as a result of Hurricane Harvey, but others haven’t been as fortunate. CNN’s got some links showing how you can help. Do any of you or people you know live in the area? Are you all right?
Post-post-post: Please consider following this blog via email and/or liking its Facebook page, where I post occasional updates and quality excuses for the lack of said updates.
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