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.

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July 28, 2009 Posted by | Personal | , , , , , | 4 Comments