Compared with the forty year old shabby dormitory I am living in now, the one I lived in for three years in high school was heaven: three students who loved the wigs shared one brand new suite with air conditioners and a bathroom. In three years we changed it thoroughly: the colour of the floor turned from bright pink into muddy black, and the closet a hive of insects proliferating among piles of rotten fruit.
And our masterpiece was the bathroom, a never drying swamp which served as the habitat of various kinds of things, and even rodents, rats would occasionally take the trouble to pay us a visit, and a fake man who in the wigs, hair extensions and clip in hair extensions, all three of us felt like sobbing when we at last had to say good bye to our lovely filthy dormitory. Maybe it is because that the dormitory had changed us as well as we’d changed it. The first lesson our dormitory taught us was to look after ourselves.
Frankly speaking, we were not good students at all. I still remember the underwear that was soaked in soapy water for one and a half years before it was finally thrown away. Almost each of the boys’ dormitories had gradually developed its own unique “fragrance” usually a mixture of rotten fruit, unwashed socks, stunk towels and some junk food. We could tell one dormitory from another by sniffing instead of looking. Our tolerance towards untidiness was amazing.
However, in spite of all this, we really did make some progress. Bit by bit, we started to wash dirty clothes before they stunk, cleaned the garbage bin when it could hold no more trash, we even used brushes in a not-so-successful attempt to refurbish the floor. The point was that we were not obeying any order, we did every bit of the cleaning for ourselves, because we wanted to live in a better place. Though nothing we did could be called an achievement, it was the first time we fully bore the consequences of our deeds, and took the responsibility. Thus it was not surprising that I often found myself the only one to clean up my university dormitory which looked no better than a garbage bin when my roommates felt normal of it.
When talking about our dormitory life, talking about the wigs, and probably all the dormitory life, we should never leave out one thing. This was what we called “bed talks”. Though it was considered “illegal,” there was nothing to stop us from deliberately starting a heated discussion right after lights were out. It was our love and the only way of ending our day, and we were as punctual for it as our parents are for work. What was the most common topic? Girls, of course! What other topics were there for three energetic adolescent males lying comfortably in bed? We judged them, ranked them, argued over them night after night without feeling the slightest sense of boredom for three whole years. Were we maniacs? Who is not a maniac at eighteen?