In the dead of night (11:30 p.m.), I have somehow braved the 30-minute walk back to my dorm. Draped over my friends’ shoulders, I stumble through the door, nearly taking us all down to the floor. The fluorescent lights of the lobby overpower me as the room spins.

“Come on, you’re almost there!” my friend whisper-yells in my ear, trying to remain unnoticed. His eyes dart around anxiously as he tries to drag me toward the elevator. Once we ride up to my floor, the elevator doors open and BOOM: my RA stares back at me.

I can barely hold my footing. Dried vomit coats my chin. My face is covered in dirt from when I couldn’t lift my face from the bush that I threw up in. My hair is matted from when I rolled down DP. My shoes have somehow disappeared from my feet, and my pockets have lost all of their belongings.

All I can hear is my friend say, “shit.” I lift my eyes to see the RA. Too heavy for my neck, my head sways back and forth as I try to find the balance to look them straight on. All I can see is the intense hallway lighting and a dark figure before me.

The RA says something. Annunciating as much as I can, all I can muster is a “goodnight”. The RA moves aside as I walk, very normally and in a sober manner, out of the elevator. I turn down the hallway, which now looks miles longer than it did when I last left it.

I march my last steps to my door, falling into my friends as they act as bumpers to keep me upright. Their echoing voices are incomprehensible. The second the door opens, and I fly onto my room’s floor. Home sweet home.

I fall asleep with my head in the trash can when I’m awoken by a loud knock at my door. 

“RA ON DUTY!” shakes the floor. The door flies open, and I jump as yellow light pours into the room. The dark figure looms over me yet again.

Everywhere I turn, they get me. Why are the RAs never out during the day? Why do I never see them on a Tuesday night when I come back from the uggo zone (library)? The mere two times a week that I inflict a near-death experience upon myself with Tito’s mixed with stolen DLG cranberry cocktail, how are the RAs suddenly there?

At 1 a.m., I wobble into the bathroom. I’m in nothing but my high school basketball t-shirt and my least sexy underwear. My bare toes grip the grimy tile as I teeter to the sink. I stick my head under the faucet and gulp down the sulfur-flavored, lukewarm water. I loom over the counter. The cold granite feels so good on my face.

I look up to the mirror. In a jumpscare move, I find my RA brushing their teeth right next to me. My heart skips a beat. I jolt upwards and dash out of the bathroom as soon as possible. I tumble down the hall, gripping at the walls for balance. The hallway spins in a “High School Musical 3”-esque manner, and I slam into the lime green wallpaper like Troy Bolton. 

The RA tears down the hallway, ripping up the carpet and tearing down drywall as they try to catch me. I somehow burst through the door of my room and slam it behind me. The RA bangs on my door so hard that I think it may splinter and break open.

Despite their banging, I am at peace next to my permanent carpet stain and empty cans. I drift into a blacked-out daze in the safety of my 5-square-foot home. I have, yet again, escaped my RA.


Joseph R. Biden has yet to turn in an assignment.