Behind closed doors: HOW AN UNLOCKED HOTEL ROOM DOOR IN D.C. SCARRED ME FOR LIFE

May 16, 2016 — by Kyle Wang

Sophomore shares History Bowl Experience in Washington D.C.

I should have locked the door, in retrospect, or at least put up a sign saying: “Please knock before entering.” Sliding beneath the blankets on my bed wouldn’t have hurt either. It could have been worse, yes, but it was already pretty bad, at least how it happened. Possibly illegal, too, considering that I wasn’t really wearing anything except for my boxers.

Sorry — let me start from the beginning.

It was April 24, and we were in Washington, D.C., for the National History Bowl competition.  I had woken up late in the morning, along with sophomores Neil Rao, Roy Shannon and Tristan Xiao. History teacher Matt Torrens was taking us touring today — it was, after all, the second to last day of History Bowl competitions. We weren’t in playoffs, so we could enjoy our last day in the city before we returned home

What I ate for breakfast that day doesn’t matter; what does matter is the smell of stale urine inside the D.C. Metro — a smell that somehow found its way onto my hands.

I don’t know how it happened. I just remember panicking for the next hour or so, as I tried to find a bathroom, where I could wash off the smell from my hands.

I didn’t really realize how bad things could have been until we were halfway back to the hotel. What if the smell had seeped into my shirt? What if I had literally sat down in a pool of urine and been too oblivious to notice?

I mean, for all I knew, I smelled like a (very attractive) walking porta-potty. I had to get these clothes off.

Once Neil, Tristan and I reached the sanctity of our hotel room, I disrobed immediately, keeping my boxers on, of course, but otherwise nothing. Everything else had to go in the laundry.

I lay there in bed, clad only in my boxers, not realizing exactly how dangerous the situation was. None of us did. We were too busy comparing the size of our biceps to notice that the door was still unlocked and ever-so-slightly ajar.

And then she walked in.

 
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