This post is obviously extremely overdue since I couch surfed around 3 weeks ago. If you follow me on instagram you know that this blog entry was (eventually) coming. So here it is!
For those who have never heard of couch surfing (like me from a couple of years ago),it is basically a word to denote crashing on someone’s couch over night. While I have stayed over at friend’s places before, I have either crashed on a bed or the floor. I haven’t had to crash at friend’s places very often. Which made this couch surfing experience all the more special. Lets just say, the circumstances under which I crashed on my Friend, L’s (we shall call her) couch were also unusual. We weren’t partying hard, leaving me too impaired to get home safely. We had been nerding. Hard. So lets start with giving you some context.
I had chosen to participate in a business case competition a few weeks ago. The key to solving a case is to find all the pieces and put them together, like a puzzle that once solved leads to a map, where X marks the spot, or in this case the solution. I was looking forward to solving this puzzle with three other intelligent girls I had the pleasure of knowing from my time at school (I am currently pursuing an MBA degree).
This was a 72 hour case competition starting Friday and ending Monday morning , which meant that we were pressed for time. No time to travel, chill or have fun outside of the case competition. All of my team mates were based out of Waterloo which was 2 hours away from Mississauga, where I currently reside. This meant that in order to make any substantial contributions to the team, I was going to have to travel to Waterloo and stay at someone’s place between Saturday and Sunday. My friend L was nice enough to offer her couch for the night. With no other options but our grad room with its sticky floor, I happily accepted L’s offer.
When Saturday rolled around, I got my parents to drive me to Waterloo which meant waking up at 6 am.Once I got there and we got started on the case, my team and I were in the library from 9 am to 11.30 pm. As 11.30 pm struck, the lights in the library started turning on and off, like a scene from a horror movie. My team mates were taken aback. I however, had stayed late in the library once before and knew that the lights were just a 30 minute warning before the library would close, shutting us in for the night. The day had been long and we were drowning in information. By this point in the night, my team and I were pretty exhausted.
So we packed up and headed home. I had been to L’s apartment that morning, when I dropped my stuff off at her place. She lived in an apartment (student housing). The apartment consisted of 3 rooms, a kitchen and dining area, one bathroom and the living room, where I was to sleep. L’s room depicted what my parents defined as “a proper girl’s room”. It was clean, with everything in its place, pictures of her family and friends on one of the walls and a picture of sunlight shining through a beautiful forest made for a dreamy backdrop above her bed.
The living room was plain in comparison. It was a large room with a decent sized sofa, one sofa chair, a small coffee table and a giant TV taking up most of the space. One tiny corner was home to a small table and four chairs. There was a lot of empty space in this room.
By the time L and I got home that night we both needed to use he bathroom pretty badly, but L’s housemate was in the bathroom, taking a shower and playing music loudly. I was glad to find out that I wasn’t the only one who played music at insanely high volumes in the shower. In fact, I was such a huge fan of listening to music when in the bathroom that I had once undertaken a shopping trip just to find waterproof bluetooth speakers. I am glad to say that I found them but it was unfortunate that they were too expensive for me to ever chance getting water on them.
We waited a while for the housemate’s bathroom dance party to end. When it seemed like it might take a while, we had to use the washroom in the building’s GYM to relieve ourselves. L went first while I stayed behind setting up a makeshift bed on the sofa. While I was waiting for L’s return, I noticed that the door to the bedroom next to the living room was ajar. From what L had told me, her second housemate (the first was partying in the bathroom) was out of town. I was a little creeped out. When L came back, I asked her about it. L thought that maybe the housemate had left her door open by accident. The fact that I would be sleeping in the living room, adjacent to the dark room with the partially open door creeped me out just a bit. What if there was something in there. What if it paid me a visit at night. But then, I get easily creeped out. I should stop watching lot of horror movies. But then I enjoy watching them. Perhaps I should stop thinking about slightly ajar doors past midnight. My brain never functions very well during the late hours of the night anyway.
Soon after our conversation about this empty room ended, I left to use the GYM’s bathroom. Turned out it was pretty clean. I wasn’t sure if nobody ever used the GYM in this building or if the building maintained the GYM extremely well. 5 minutes after L and I were both done using the washroom, the housemate was done her shower, vacating the bathroom in the apartment.
L and I stayed up a bit longer and brainstormed solutions to the case. We came to what, looking back, seems like a good conclusion. At that point in the night though, it seemed brilliant. Like we had just had the eureka moment we had been waiting for all day. Excited, we stayed up until 1.30 AM recording our findings. Then it was time to turn in. I talk to my best friend every night before I go to sleep. So I called him (yes at 1.30 AM) to talk. He could hardly hear me. Apparently the signal was pretty bad around the apartment and if you wanted to have a decent conversation, you would have to be close to a window. Unwilling to stay standing up on my feet after a long day, I found that if I sat in a certain position on the sofa, I could talk to my best friend without any major interruptions. While I was talking to him, L made sure I had everything I needed.
She offered me water, multiple pillows and even a small towel. L really is wonderful. She then wished me goodnight and went to bed. So did I eventually. Only after I made sure I shut the door to the dark room I was sleeping next to.
If you have ever crashed on a couch you know that one side always slides inwards. Like the couch is trying to eat you. You try to spend most of the night avoiding the feeling of falling into the couch. Not like if you fell, you would fall very far. But for some reason, falling an inch into the couch became unacceptable to my exhausted mind. It was either that or the fact that I was too tall for the sofa, that kept waking me up. Perhaps every hour. Staring into the dark. Trying to make sure nothing had creeped out of the dark room. Or checking to see if it was morning yet. Or just to find a sufficiently comfortable position for the next few hours.
The next morning I woke up pretty early, in order to use the bathroom. I didn’t want L to have to wake up early to accommodate the both of us. She had been so sweet and caring. Besides, we had an 8.30 AM start to the day and we didn’t want to be late. I went into the bathroom and turned on the lights and the exhaust. To be honest, I wasn’t too sure about the exhaust fan. It didn’t make any sound like the one at home. Was it turned on? If it wasn’t, should I be dropping a deuce? I eventually figured that if nothing else, the strong scent of the body wash I had brought along would cover up the smell when I took a shower later. So I went about my business as usual. I eventually got to taking a shower and was attacked by dagger like water. If you have ever been in a shower that shot out water with such force that it hurt you, you know what I am referring to. It was however better than the shower in my Waterloo home where the water ran so slowly that I was never sure if I was in a first world country or if I got all the shampoo out of my hair.
I was getting out of the bathroom when L stepped out of her room. She asked me if I wanted any breakfast as she took out three different kinds of cereal and milk. I am not a big fan of milk and cereal so I thanked her for her kindness and picked up a banana from the bunch that she intended to take to school for when we felt like a snack. She put all the cereal and milk that she had retrieved from the fridge and cabinets. I felt bad. L was so darn nice. I could learn a thing or two from her.
I asked L if her exhaust fan was working. Turned out it was. It was also better than any I had ever owned since it didn’t make any noise.
L was using the bathroom as I packed my stuff. I noticed that the door to the dark room was still closed. I found it funny that I had even bothered to check. Too may horror movies will screw you up.
The sunlight outside was a welcome sight. As it peeked through the blinds it reminded me of the beautiful picture above L’s bed. Also, I could almost taste the Starbucks coffee that I was yearning for and that we would grab before heading to our group meeting. A smile crept over my face.
When I was done packing, I sat on the couch and closed my eyes. I just wanted to rest a bit longer. I wanted more sleep. I felt the couch beneath me. The couch that had hosted me for the night. I felt grateful for its soft cushion and almost perfect length. It had been my first, and hopefully my last.