The puke incident : stories from life in student housing 

I know this took too long to get to . Much longer than it should have. Much longer than it needed to. But going through finals week can be messy. I’ll leave it at that.

Where were we? So I had just moved into my new apartment, a floor away from the roommate from hell. I had met all my new roommates on my first day there and they seemed like pretty decent human beings. Just how decent I would come to know pretty soon. It was one of the first few weekends at my new apartment when the puke incident took place. 

It was a Saturday night and I was extremely sleepy for some reason. While I don’t remember much except the drowsiness that had taken over all my senses, I do remember someone banging on my door. There was only banging at first . No words followed. I do not remember being scared. It felt as if I was safe from anyone and anything in my room, behind my wooden door. Until I heard beeping of the keys on the number lock (every room in the apartment has an electronic door lock. You need the number password to enter ). After many unsuccessful tries, the person on the other side of the door gave up. The banging and beeping of the number pad then moved on to other rooms in the house. 

I figured someone had come home drunk and was unable to get to their room. Should I help them, I wondered. What if it wasn’t someone I knew? What if someone had broken in? Wouldn’t it be safer in my room? Under my covers? Far far away from possible homicide? 

So that is where I stayed (don’t question my decisions. I was super sleepy). Until the next morning when I headed to the kitchen for some breakfast, having forgotten everything about the night before. I made eggs. I headed back to my room to grab my phone. Came back to the kitchen when I noticed……A GIANT PILE OF PUKE ON THE LIVING ROOM FLOOR. 

I couldn’t smell it ( I never could. Everyone else couldn’t breathe around it as it turned out, but I couldn’t smell it, ever) , but it definetly looked like puke. Puke with a bunch of chocolate chips in it (we later confirmed they really were undigested chocolate chips ). I cracked open the window and reached for my phone. I took a picture of the puke on the living room floor and texted all my roommates asking if anyone knew anything about the mess .

Then as I headed back into my room to gather my things and leave for school ( yes on a weekend, first semester MBA was brutal ) I saw it. If a horror movie and a college comedy movie had a baby, the scene I saw in front of me would definetly make the cut. All the doors in the apartment (including the main door ) was covered it hand shaped blobs of vomit. Like a ghost made of puke was trying to get in. In to all our rooms. Our key pads had traces of vomit too. Our entire apartment was covered in vomit. 

I packed up my things and left for the day. A series of texts followed confirmed that none of my roommates were responsible for the puke. This made the incident even creepier. Was there really a ghost made of puke haunting my apartment? One of my roommates found a jacket and glasses which quickly dissolved any ghost related thoughts. So who had been in our apartment. And why? This made me miss the possibility of the ghost. A creepy human that could enter the apartment at will seemed much scarier than the thought of a hungover stinky ghost.

By the time I got home exhausted from a day of studying, we were no closer to solving the mystery. We had however contacted the building’s management about the incident and let them know that if anyone was looking for glasses and a jacket, they should come see us. 

That night all my roommates but one swept the floor and pretty much the entire apartment with Lysol wipes, bleach and other pleasant (not ) chemicals. We worked as a team to tackle the puke that was not ours. We commented on how this had been a bonding experience for us even though we would have preferred to bond over drinks instead. Our hatred for the puke brought us closer together.That is when I realized how amazing my housemates (all but one) were and how lucky I was.  

A few days later I came home to cake. Apparently a very drunk boy and his girlfriend who resided on the 15 th floor were “sorry” for puking all over our apartment. They wanted the glasses and jacket back. The girlfriend apparently rolled her eyes as she educated us about the importance of keeping our front door locked. Yes it was our fault that her boyfriend had gotten so bloody drunk that he confused the 5th floor for the 15th, puked all over our apartment, stayed the night lounging on our sofas and then waited 4 whole days to own up to it. A duration he knew was long enough that we wouldn’t still have his puke lying around for him to clean up but short enough that we would not have chucked his belongings down the garbage chute. I honestly regret not chucking it down the chute on day one. His designer glasses and jacket. What a jackass. I’m sure the bitch and the jackass make a lovely couple. Do you hear that? That is the sound of my blood boiling. As you may have guessed, I had none of the cake. I’m sure it would have tasted like puke.

While it was not a pleasant experience it did teach us (most of the roommates ) the importance of locking the front door. “What if it had been a serial killer ” we often mused. It also served as a great welcome story for the people who sublet some of the rooms in the apartment during my year living in the apartment. 

Living in that building gave me many other stories. Some of them I will share in upcoming posts. What I cannot put into words is some of the amazing relationships living on my own have helped my build. You’ll have to take my word for it. 


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