"Pass Me Some Of Those Balloons"
Packing away ones belongings for a fresh start in another college dormitory is a bittersweet activity, mostly because it signals definitive end to the joy, laughter and relative abandon of summer and a definitive beginning to the pain, suffering and stress of a collegiate workload. My summer memories are still as bright and vibrant as the season in which they took place - summer. There was that time my car slipped on a bridge, nearly sending me plummeting into a foggy crevice of death, the time I tried the "Sunburn to Instant Tan" plan that ended in me leaving a trail of dead skin behind me for two weeks or that time I chased down a giant spider in my bedroom with a vacuum cleaner and golf clubs before finally smiting it with a well-lobbed bucket of paint. These memories march by like tiny wooden ducks at a carnival game until I shoot them with the all-powerful shotgun of repression.
But as I sat in my room typing this instead of packing, the excitement I felt about moving from a rural Connecticut farming town to a major city was tainted by a tinge of sadness from the thought that I may never sleep in my spider-infested basement bedroom. I looked out over little pieces of my life, neatly tucked into cardboard boxes and sealed with masking tape and bits of spider webs and my heart was filled with a melancholy that only the darkest Gothic poets and that guy from Counting Crows could possibly understand.
No, wait. Not melancholy what's the phrase? "Sheer exuberant bliss?" Yes, that's it. My heart was not weighed down with grief, but rather filled with helium-like joyfulness and mirth, for I was leaving the spider nest I called home for three months to return to that most magnificent manifestation of BU bucks, that eighteen story monument to conspicuous consumption, that monolith of mockery to all other buildings - the Student Village.
I eagerly stuffed all of my earthly possessions into the back of a station wagon and dragged my family to Buick Street so they could finally see some tangible evidence of the ridiculous amount of loans I am amassing to attend this university. Surely, they were impressed by the hallways lined with suits of Elizabethan armor, grand piano in the atrium and cameras in the ceilings, which I have been assured are only present for security reasons. They were later impressed by the all-encompassing climate control, and how I told them how all the windows are sealed shut, preventing any and all forms of arachnid from invading my place of peaceful slumber.
When the time came to finally bid my family farewell, we all shared a hearty laugh about my former place of residence, Danielsen Hall, but this time I did not have to break down into hysterical sobbing upon the realization that I had to return to that decrepit rat hole later in the day. No, never again must I return to that place, for I am now a member of Boston University's elite - the landed aristocracy of the housing system. Not only do I get to live in a palatial estate with Swedish furniture, but I also get to choose who inherits my estate next year. At long last, I finally have something to easily corrupt my moral character! Believe me, it was getting difficult to sell drugs to blind orphans in order to finance drilling in Alaskan wildlife reserves.
Now that I am in Boston University's elite class, I can leave behind the monotony of daily toil that plagued me as a dormitory-style serf and instead devote my leisure time to the high culture of the Student Village the high culture that dictates that I should spend my time staring out my floor-to-ceiling windows at the Charles River or spending hours on end sitting on a couch eating frozen waffles and playing some old school Nintendo.
Sure, part of my view looks out at a graveyard of misfit desks, the hallways look like Nurse Ratched could be around any corner and - of course - there's no cable, but at least I won't have to face the unbelievable televised train wreck that is MTV's "Undressed" and "Spyder Games" anymore.
Assuredly, there will still be things about Boston University that get on my nerves and make me want to complain to someone, but when I stop to consider how luxurious the lap I'm living in is, I'm sure I won't care too much anymore. The opiate of the masses is not religion - it's a luxury dormitory - and I have been placated. Even if I were able to mutter a half-complaint, it would sound like a silly high-pitched squeak, and everyone would just smile until they got their turn at the luxury helium tank.