Things I Didn’t Want to See (But Did)

I don’t even know how to introduce this properly. Let’s just dive in.

1. My Butt-Naked Floormate

No, not my roommate. My floormate. 

I had to go buy some detergent from Walgreens today (which was overpriced, by the way, but you can ask me about my laundry some other time) and so I headed out. I swung the door open and, unconsciously, my eyes fell upon the door across from mine. It was propped open a crack, just enough to see inside. And there she was, my floormate. Quite naked.

Fortunately, I only saw her backside, but that split-second of spotting her was still enough to disturb me somewhat. I mean, who walks around their room utterly unclothed with the door open?! 

2. A butterfly. On my jacket.

For those of you that don’t know, I have a gripping fear of butterflies. (Yes, I know it’s irrational and/or silly. No, I don’t honestly care for your opinion on the matter, because it is what it is.) As it were, my school has planted tons of tulips and other lepidopteran-attracting flowers. I mean, I love flowers, but the price to pay for a beautiful sight is facing my winged enemies every day.

Today, one landed on my jacket as I was walking back from buying the detergent. Usually I just freeze up and let the little beasts fly past me, but this was on me. I actually screamed and flailed to get it off. A guy walking past me burst out laughing at the sight of me, but I could care less. Shaken, I rushed back to my dorm.

I don’t ever want to see a butterfly that close to me again.

3. And for the winner…

My school is pretty famous for its involvement in community service, and each year, there’s a special day where hundreds of students come together in teams and are sent out to help the community somehow–it can be anything from cleaning out a senior citizen’s gutters to removing graffiti from a city building to planting flowers by the roadside. I was in a team with my three best friends, and our file folder said we were assigned to help out at a farmer’s market. We were pumped; it sounded fun.

We took the bus up north to what turned out to be a pretty sketchy, rather unsafe area of the city. It didn’t immediately faze us, though; we certainly weren’t expecting to perform community service in the wealthy neighborhoods. There, we met up with our project leader–let’s call her Kari–who brought us to her agency’s office. She began to tell us about the project. This farmer’s market was targeted towards providing healthy food at decent costs for low-income residents of the area. Overall, it was a pretty noble cause, and I was interested in knowing more.

So, what were we to do?

“The market has a permanent site down the street,” Kari said, and she gave us a description of how lively and fun it gets when it’s in season. “When it’s out of season, however,” she continued, “well… we don’t mind that this happens but… people use it as a sort of hangout place… and… oh, you can tell where this is going, can’t you…”

I had some ideas, but we let her continue.

“Our job today will be to clean up the area,” she said, “and, well… you might encounter… human… excrement.”

That’s right. Human excrement. Real, stinking, very human poop.

“I might not have you do it if you can’t handle it,” she attempted to reassure as we all failed to hide the disgust in our faces.

We drove back out to the market site, feeling sickened. I prayed as hard as I could that we wouldn’t chance upon anything but garbage and old liquor bottles, but sure enough, tucked in the corners and alleys of the area were piles of human feces. Noticing our repulsion (and perhaps the sudden wave of illness that had overcome the four of us), Kari told us we wouldn’t have to pick that up, just the trash around the area.

Looking back on it, we realize now that it wasn’t just a gross thing we experience, but a potential danger we came near. Human excrement of any form is a biohazard that should be dealt with by the right people with the right tools, and we were simply four t-shirt-and-jeans college girls with rubber gloves and brooms. We’re thinking of contacting the organizers of our volunteerism project to let them know what we were faced with and how perhaps they should talk to the agency to avoid this problem in the future. But even if that happens, we all came out of it pretty scarred.

I just… there aren’t even words to aptly recreate those memories.


4 thoughts on “Things I Didn’t Want to See (But Did)

  1. I don’t even know how to comment on this post. Rubber gloves should be enough protection for the average human excrement but I can understand the need for reassurance. I hate snakes so I can’t say squat about anyone else’s fear and as far as your number one, wouldn’t bother me at all! Ha ha!

  2. For the first two, I have to say that I think the universe was telling you to SKIP LAUNDRY FOR THE DAY. Okay, maybe not. But that’s the way I think about laundry.
    For the third, oh holy moly. I wonder if this is they way to encourage volunteerism??

    • It was insane. I mean, I don’t really hold my school to blame, as they sent us there but it wasn’t up to them in regards to what we were actually doing… but still. Yeesh. It wasn’t a pleasant experience.

  3. So… Fun times in college, huh? Though I must say that while I’ve enountered quite a few creepy crawlies and naked people, my college days were relatively free of other people’s poop.

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