Mar 292011
 
Authors: Shane Rohleder

The construction in the Morgan Library has obstructed the path to my favorite bathroom on campus: the bathroom on the third floor underneath the government stacks.

Ignorant of the internal construction prior to yesterday, I tried to get to my favorite bathroom, but I was blocked on all fronts.

On my first try I walked up the main stairs to the third floor, reading RamTalk per tradition. I headed east, toward the handicap bathroom meaning to pass it and walk on toward the heavenly bathroom beyond. I was blocked by a particleboard wall with a sign on the front warning: KEEP OUT.

“That’s okay,” I thought. “Block me at the front gate; I’ll come in the back door.”

I turned around and walked back downstairs to the second floor. I headed south toward the “Labyrinth Staircase,” called such because walking up them the wrong way leads you to a locked door. To my ultimate horror, this passage way was also barricaded in particleboard and the labyrinth staircase was double taped in “CAUTION” and “DANGER” tape.

Admitting defeat I solemnly walked into a communal bathroom on the second floor, but it wasn’t the same, and I could hardly bring myself to do what needed to be done.

I can handle the grinding noises. I can handle the interior maze-like layout; it’s kind of entertaining to dead end at a new wall every time you try to get somewhere. It makes you feel like you’re in the Matrix. But when you take a man’s favorite bathroom from him, you’ve gone too far.

I would propose a petition, but I have no way of knowing if my favorite bathroom even exists anymore. It could have already been destroyed or altered in some horrific way. It is forever lost — the best I can do is write a tribute.
This is just a tribute to the greatest and best bathroom in the world. Let us remember together some of the moments we shared inside the illusive bathroom on the third floor underneath the government stacks.

This is a tribute to you big, big man. You sat in the bathroom before me on that beautiful spring afternoon in 2010 and you shamelessly left a part of yourself behind for everybody to share. Even a day later your presence lingered.

This is a tribute to you, girl. I hold you at no fault. My favorite bathroom was poorly labeled and very dark inside. There was no way you could have known that you were using the men’s restroom as you undoubtedly did not see the urinal hiding on the left side of the sink where you probably washed your hands.

This is a tribute to you, bathroom-stall-journalists. You contributed to this particular bathroom, novelties such as, “Jesus is coming, look busy,” and “don’t shave too closely.”

To all those who made it what it was, and sometimes what it should never have been, this is a tribute to you.
Of course old habits die hard, and I will inevitably continue to grab a copy of the Collegian and drift to my favorite bathroom, only to be reminded of the tragedy.

Perhaps I’ll meet some of you former users, staring longingly with wonderment, wearing an expression on your face of “why?”

And when we look at each other we’ll know that a new age is upon us: an age where we are cursed to wander for another water closet, drenched in nostalgia.

Remember, we’re in this together, and we’ll never forget the bathroom on the third floor underneath the government stacks and what it gave to us and what we gave to it.

Shane Rohleder is a senior communication studies major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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