Dan Dot Blog

Based on a true story

The End of an Era

As I watched the colorful liquids swirl down the drain, punctuated only by the clinking of glass and unscrewing of caps, I knew that my life was taking a more serious turn. For so long our living room, both of our current apartment and the old place on Thayer, has been lit by flourescing fluids in various liquor bottles by a black light.

It was kind of an easy decision to pour them out; the entertainment center where they’d rested for at least two years was taken home when one of my roommates moved out recently, and I couldn’t remember the last time we actually turned on the black light for more than a few minutes.

Still, there was some nostalgia that flowed out with those waters. It’s odd, the bottles had become dusty and were now serving a purpose far from what they were originally intended. They were only rarely illuminated and just served as a quiet background for our lives. But when uncapped, the waters were even lusher and brighter than I had originally hoped they might be when we first pulled highlighters apart in the hopes of making something aesthetic and college-y with our empty liquor bottles.

Maybe it’s forcing the symbolism too much, but it just felt like a lot of college came pouring out with that water. So many of the memories have been covered in dust. My college enrollment has served a purpose far from what I originally anticipated it to: while it’s been an environment supportive of intellectual growth, it’s been a huge social catalyst. It’s where I first learned to come out of my shell, relax, and, in a weird way, let loose and party. That’s probably one of the greatest lessons I learned at Michigan, and it was thanks to so many people along the way that I was able to model. Those memories are not often very vividly recounted, but when they do come back, they pour out, just as vivid, and perhaps even more, than they originally were.

The beauty of memory is that it doesn’t take up space. When I was done dumping out our decorative liquor bottles I was left with no pretty water and some dull, dusty old glass that I recycled, but when I relive my college memories, the times of sadness, friendship, ennui, struggle, triumph, and realization that few experiences can be cleverly binned into a lame, trite categories, the memories flow around me, but they don’t leave me, and it will hopefully be a long time before their container is recycled.


July 28, 2009 - Posted by | Personal | , , , , ,


  1. Reading this brings back memories for me too. I am thinking a lot about times at Necto on Fridays :-D. I had some incredible times in the city of Ann Arbor with you and reminiscing brings feelings of sadness and joy. I miss the days but the times were great. I have been feeling lately that my college partying years are all over and I’m one of those old grad students now. LOL.

    Those bottles lasted some years though. I remember making them in the old apartment on Thayer along with the washer game and neither were really used. We did that when Adam moved out and his room became the “game room”.

    Well it’s emotional to look back but also comforting that the memories are good. I do agree that you really have come out of your shell at Michigan. You are a much more socially developed person than you were when I meet you. And that’s meant to sound like a positive.

    Felt like sharing some thoughts.

    Comment by Lindsay | August 21, 2009 | Reply

  2. While at times I’m sad that those partying days are over, my occasional partying these days confirms to me that it’s probably for my own good that those days are over…

    Thanks for your thoughts 🙂

    Comment by Daniel | August 21, 2009 | Reply

  3. KesslerD, this was beautiful! I don’t follow too many blogs so I only come here sporadically (I know, I’m turrible). But what a lovely, touching, and artistically written post to reminisce and celebrate such a meaningful time in your life (and mine as well!!!). Since I’m reading this a bit late, the first football game has come and gone… and all of us are always so nostalgic for those perfect fall football Saturdays – this was just what I needed to read. So sweet yet not at all saccharine. I can’t wait until we’re reunited to make more of these memories together.

    Comment by cizzler | September 8, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks so much for the sweet comments Cizzle! This post was definitely written with you in mind, so I’m so glad that you read it. Those times were very formative and special for me, and I’m so glad that we met then. Hope to see you soon!


      Comment by Daniel | September 18, 2009 | Reply

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