Local Student Floods Childhood Home to Remember Life on Campus

Written by: Matthew Miltimore

Mahone’s father later commented that he was concerned that the family’s finances “would be in deep water after this stunt.”
Photo by Jack Yang

Mark Mahone, a second-year undergraduate student at UCSD, is one of the many students who voided their on-campus housing contracts and moved back home with their parents in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the adjustment to this new living situation has been a unique and sometimes difficult transition for students, none have gone so far as Mahone who last Wednesday purposely flooded the lower level of his childhood home in an effort to, as he describes, “build some semblance of life in on-campus housing.”

Mahone, along with several other students, were displaced from their on-campus apartments in November of 2019 after heavy rain led to severe flooding. “At first, I was tremendously distraught,” Mahone recalls. “My bean bag got pretty soaked, and that was a pretty hard loss.” Yet, despite the destruction of his beloved bean-based seat, Mahone was able to gain some joy from the flooding. “UCSD being so close to the beach is great, but you know what’s better than living near the water? Living in the water! My flooded apartment was the deluxe pool I’ve always wanted, and the staph infection was just a plus.”

Mahone and the other displaced students were back in their apartments only a few weeks after the flood, yet due to the administration’s request that students move home for Spring Quarter, they again find themselves removed from their on-campus homes. “I can’t help but miss it,” Mahone asserts. “I yearn for the persistent fear that came over me whenever it rained; the adrenaline rush that followed even a soft drizzle was by far the most excited I’ve ever felt on UCSD’s campus.” 

Although Mahone was moved out while the water was removed, his apartment-mates in the upstairs bedrooms were allowed to remain in the residency. Yet they too miss their flood-prone home. “I just can’t sleep without the soft purr of eight industrial dehumidifiers,” claims Mahone’s apartment-mate and fellow student Dale Cooper in reference to the equipment used to dry the wet, 30-year-old carpet. “No lullaby or glass of warm milk will ever come close to the sleepy sway of their gentle 90-decibel hum.”

In order to “fill the wet void left in his heart,” Mahone resolved to flood his childhood home. “I did as the wet bandits do. I stuffed all the sinks, shower drains, and toilets with towels and just let the water wash it all away. It was over 20 minutes before anyone else in the house noticed, and by then the water had soaked through my dad’s favorite rug and gave the potted fiddle leaf tree far too much irrigation.” Sidney Martell, Mahone’s mother, recalls that “in full honesty, I was not remotely surprised. Nothing can surprise me anymore. It wasn’t nearly the worst part of my Wednesday.”

The home has since had the stagnant water removed, yet Mahone remains adamant that “the flood was a tremendous success. “Sure, online class is strange, I feel less motivated, and my conception of time has completely dissolved, but at least I can rest easy knowing that my childhood home and former apartment have something in common: they can both be filled with a tremendous amount of water. Isn’t that what we all want from our housing?”

Staff Writer at The MQ

Flattened in a distro cart accident, the MQ replaced his bones with leftover printer ink. With his increased lank, Matt has become a pivotal writer for the MQ through his fluidity. Whether demonstrated through his mastery of satire or being used as a keycard when we lock ourselves out of the office, Matt is a key asset to the writing team.

One Reply to “Local Student Floods Childhood Home to Remember Life on Campus”

  1. Matthew Ryan Gomez says:

    I really like this one, the housing situation is not ideal here as a fellow UCSD student.

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