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Never seemed so good

Christie Bolsen | Friday, May 13, 2005

I couldn’t do it – I couldn’t bring myself to write about our time at Notre Dame like it was a gentle, emotional ride of sentimental handholding and Victory March singing.

It was more like a rollicking, top-speed, one hand clutching a $3 pitcher and the other clinging on for dear life, yelling at the top of our lungs at four in the morning and coming home with shredded jeans and muddy feet but not recalling why kind of ride. And that’s how I’ll remember it.

Oh, I’ll remember you putting your arms around me and swaying as glory’s mantle cloaked us, but I’ll cherish the time we found you in a ditch with a guy at our freshman Rally. It’s the silliest, least noteworthy times that are charging into my memory, times when we’re waking at ungodly hours to boxers-clad serenades on South Quad or convincing ourselves that we really do like the taste of White Lightning.

I can still see those starry nights weaving endless loops around us with books, drinks and “relations,” ranging from lapsed-judgment, avoid-awkward-eye-contact-in-the-dining-hall meaningless to changed-your-life, want-to-print-his-name-in-your-last-column meaningful. Then there are sunlit golf mornings with the impossibly enthusiastic Coach O, urging me once again to “go get some beautiful balls!”

Now there’s rampant debauchery as we’re running amok in the streets of D.C. and abroad, then a darkened boxing ring where our classmates are becoming modest Bangladeshi heroes. We’re walking from Boat to Zahm in the summer rain because no cabs come on Tuesdays; I’m thinking I’m cool the first time we hang out in a guys’ dorm, – B008 Fisher to be exact. I thought college was going to last forever.

It’s like we’ve been running out of time all along, but I just didn’t realize it. Time socializing on the second floor of the library, time on the Backer dance floor watching 10 guys “dancing on the ceiling” with each other, time with inventive, non-SUB-sponsored tostals – which I think translates into “midday pong is not alcoholism until after graduation.”

I’m sorry I can’t say this all better. I’ve spent four years deriving nerdy pleasure from pursuing the right words, ones that exude perfection when describing what you saw, what you did, how you felt. But right now, I have no words that could describe what the people I’ve met here have meant to me. All I want is to keep remembering each and every one of you like this, in these random and seemingly insignificant moments that mean everything to me.

I’d like to stay here a little longer watching these scenes play out, flickering memories with the same deceptive sense of permanence as those rows and rows of white candles. Just like so many other nights, trying to make that ephemeral space of time between last call and the end of the night last forever.

But instead, I hope that we at least put up a rowdy fight, refusing to leave until the lights come on and we have to be bodily removed from the premises, dragging our feet and still singing a noisy rendition of “Piano Man” until the very end.

And when it’s finally time to go home, I hope you remember this night, these years, our friends, me … because I’ll sure remember you.

Christie Bolsen is a graduating political science and philosophy major with a journalism minor, and former Assistant Scene Editor of The Observer. She loves everyone, but especially her wonderful family, Glenna Joyce and every single friend who transformed her in four years from a nerd to a nerd with cool friends. A special thanks to Lyons girls, who were there for her on the saddest day of her life, and who taught her everything important she knows. She is looking forward to being the slow learner in law school next year … somewhere.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.