The sickening odor permeates my entire consciousness, my face distorting with disgust at the thought of the horrifying task I am about to perform.
There are certain unpleasant positions in which I have always hoped never to find myself, such as splayed out on a bed of porcupine quills with a circus elephant performing pirouettes on my groin. Until very recently, I would never have imagined myself kneeling on the floor of an amazingly dirty bathroom, armed only with a brush and a container of Soft Scrub, about to do battle with a mysterious crusty substance that had taken up residence on the bottom of the toilet seat.
Like many other students, I moved into an apartment last month for the first time. Certainly my new role as a tenant constitutes a significant development in my life, carrying with it both a refreshing sense of freedom and a disturbing reality of increased responsibility.
Throughout my entire life, I have always enthusiastically looked forward to the complete autonomy that would be mine when I rented my own apartment. My mouth watered in anticipation of the complete lack of restrictions, liberated from the supervision of my parents and outside the watchful gaze of the evil empire known as University Housing.
In this slightly simplistic vision of life in my own pad, I always ignored the fact that independence carries with it increased duties, ranging from toilet scrubbing all the way to bill paying. I bear the burden of adjusting to an incredibly harsh truth. I now finally realize that responsibility clings to my new life of liberty like toilet paper onto the shoe of an oblivious public-restroom patron.
For many centuries, modern scientists have based experiments upon the idea of cause and effect. Although I do not consider myself, or my roommates, scientifically oriented, a series of experiments conducted in our new apartment has allowed us to achieve great insight into the fundamental concept of cause and effect. For instance, we discovered the night after moving day that the purchase of cheap vodka would lead to many disturbing consequences, ranging from unwanted nudity to vomit in the sink.
With the possible exception of the abovementioned transgressions, I have actually had considerable trouble finding activities to keep myself occupied now that I am a liberated individual. Luckily, excessive beer consumption was not the only moving-in tradition I observed. My roommates and I were able to sift through the masses of discarded furniture that cluttered the streets to find a couch that seemed to be in good enough condition to suit the needs of our new place.
Now that I have gotten used to the slight odor and the stain that I can only hope is not a bodily fluid remnant, the couch has provided me with the necessary means to take full advantage of my new life of freedom. Of course, I am speaking of spending the entire day half-awake watching Animal Planet and eating Twizzlers.
Unfortunately, the beginning of the school year has brought about a premature end to my experience of unbounded freedom, adding additional responsibilities to a rapidly growing list. As I was forced to peel myself off the stained couch and join the herd somberly flocking up Bascom Hill to renew the quest for knowledge, I was violently struck with the realization that living on my own will involve incredible amounts of work. At least it's not my turn to clean the toilet.