It seemed like a trick of the light at first— something my 4 a.m. brain would concoct after a fitful night of sleep, interrupted this time by the need to pee. But the longer I stared at it, the more real it became: The humanoid blob of other people’s hairs that had been forming slowly over the past month was sitting on the toilet. I didn’t think much of it when a large clump of hair began accumulating around the drain in the furthermost shower. In a hallway as crowded as mine, these sorts of things happen often enough.
Someone else would be responsible enough to grab a paper towel and scoop it up. Besides, none of it was my hair. I have short hair, and most of this was long hair, so none of it could have possibly been mine. Also, I’m not gross enough to just drop hairs. All my hairs stay perfectly put in their follicles. Clearly, this was somebody else’s problem.
Now, hindsight is 20/20, but maybe I should have been a little concerned when the hairball developed into the shape of legs. I mostly thought it was gross that it had gotten that big, so I quit using that shower and just bathed in the another one.
I didn’t think much of it either when the beard shavings on the shelf above the new Cushing sinks coalesced into a vague head shape. It rolled off and onto the floor pretty quickly after its formation. I mostly felt irritated that no one bothered to clean up their own shaved hairs. I mean, I’ve plucked my eyebrows and didn’t wipe every hair off the shelf, but some people shave way more hair off their faces every day.
It’s so inconsiderate to just leave it there. Since they still weren’t my hairs, I left the head to roll around on the floor undisturbed.
God only knows where the hair for the torso and arms of this creature came from. Maybe the floor, maybe the other showers—who’s to say, but there it sat in all its furry glory.
“Take a picture, it’ll last longer,” it intoned angrily.
I was stunned. I was sure I was still asleep. How could the complex organs that allow for speech form in such a short time out of body hair?
I guess despite being able to speak, it couldn’t figure out locks. I used the stall next to it and went back to bed.
I was comfortably nodding off when the door to my room opened and shut. I thought it must be a dream, so I kept my eyes shut until I felt the covers ripped off of me and a grotesque fuzz roll in next to me, exclaiming rudely, “Shove over, you’re hogging the covers.”
I opened my eyes to find The Blob of Hair in bed next to me.
“What the hell,” I mumbled, “this isn’t your room.”
“I’m sorry,” I said, and closed the stall door.
“I’m not staying with a first-year. I don’t want to listen to anyone brag about how much alcohol they can hide in their sock drawer,” it replied, “Shove over, will you?”
“No,” I retorted. “You have to get out of here. I drew a single so I could be alone with my thoughts. I’m not sharing it with a glob of other people’s hairs.”
“There’s a good number of your hairs in this mix, too, buddy. You think you’re so smart ’cause you keep it short. Now shove over!”
That filthy lie was the last straw. I pulled the comforter off my bed and slept on the floor.
That morning, I woke under a thin layer of hair that fell from the sleeping mass on top of me. This couldn’t continue, but I found ResLife unhelpful.
“You can put in a work order, but it might take a while for it to get processed,” my house advisor told me. “Sorry, there’s not a lot we can do about sentient hair.”
After a few fruitless emails and phone calls to Security, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
At midnight the next night, I snuck into a supply closet where I’d seen custodial staff return a massive vacuum cleaner. As quietly as I could, I rolled it down the hall and into my room, where the sleeping blob lay. I plugged it in and, as fast as I could once I turned it on, sucked the glob up the hose. The drone of the vacuum covered the muffled protests of a mass of what could only be other people’s hair. By the time I finished with my room, not a stray eyelash remained anywhere. While this horror has ended for now, my only hope is that everyone who sheds so grotesquely in the bathroom is more responsible in the future.