The College Bar

Entry by: Godai41

11th September 2015
The college bar for my college cannot and will not close.

It never opened. It never existed.

No bar that welcomed or drew students existed to my knowledge anywhere even remotely near the college.

It never will either: the college itself no longer exists.

The college administrators of this college founded and operated by Swedish Lutherans may never have missed or even have considered the idea or reality of a college bar.

The students, then, a mélange of dorm students drawn from Swedish Lutheran enclaves throughout the country, students of all backgrounds and all religions who had grown up and spent most of their lives in nearby residential communities, a hefty size mixture of foreign students from all over the planet with first names such as Zeno, Carson, Renate, and Ziggy, met and intensely engaged each other at the college.

They found no bar anywhere remotely near the campus. None.

What could they do?

What did they do?

A lot!

For one thing, they discovered, adopted, sculpted, and invented bars of their own.

One of the staunch bar inventions, still existent and beloved until its demise in flames earlier this year, a diner remained for eons only blocks from the dining hall, radio station WFMU, Library, art department house, dormitories, gym, and seemingly endless grass on which to repose on Fall and Spring days of the college campus.

Coffee played the role of liquor; delicious grilled cheese sandwiches, late night omelets, and much more also drew constituents more than twenty years after the college itself vanished. The 20-minute walk itself from the college to reach the diner was an
odyssey of self-exploration shared by the fervent peripatetic talking explorers. The talking menu included shots of how they want to change the world, help those who had no chance to reach even the college, visions of relationships dreamed of or just
beginning, connections and non-connections between parents and themselves, idyllic natural spots they had known or yearned to know, and musings on who or what force ran the overall terrain they all shared. Even the main Singer of lonely hunter fame did not
know a more welcoming diner-pub.

The ultimate lure of the diner and the voyage there? Of course, the chance to share the ultimate ale, thought, feelings, and talk.

Its absence perhaps even readied them for the disappearing they could not yet imagine: the very end, some decades later, of the college itself.

A college bar absent from the campus and surroundings, the would-be drinkers created their own bars.

One such other bar betimes scooted along the recently invented Park? :-) Way the State had plastered through various communities. After or on their way to various parties held at one or another student’s home, the vehicle became a 60+ mph tavern full of sweet and bitter drafts of life. Squeezed together in the mini mobile pubs, unobserved by any campus would be author-ities they released their images of would-be and hoped for ecstasies and sins still to commit. A few confessed to having committed poetry. One riding drinker discharged not only his sins but his over-liquored stomach into the automatic tollbooth.

Expecting quarters, the personless chute received stomach remnants having no commercial value.

Other invented bars the campus barless students uncovered included parties sponsored
by one of the many college commuters. Descending mostly into the underground cellar domains of these domiciles, often with dates, they found freedom to whirl, twist, bend, press into each other, uplift their corpus in advancing states of diminishing consciousness. Host family members contentedly stayed above ground, descending only to deliver more
liquid deities to the below-ground movers.

For those more attuned to and keen on taking in a different kin of spirits the college chapel and more importantly the carefully seasoned, well-preserved spirit of the Chaplain himself drew those committed to imbibing his flow of words and thoughts. These Monday through Friday 20-minute daily servings, especially those in which the Lutheran Chaplain “Bar” Tender shared mugs of his Old Testament palpable archaeological digs in Israel and nearby countries, drew thoroughly thirsty patrons. In one such mug he poured forth his take on Jeremiah, a drink rarely served then and now. Following the final toast of the Tender, the bar-ishioners went on to classes feeling inspired, uplifted, drunk with life.

The dorm rooms, especially late in the evening into early early morning hours, ensconced the heaviest, most embroiled bar life, totally liquorless, bereft of any actual hard brew. There the drinkers spouted confessions of frustration, despair, inadequacy, hurt, and many more esoteric ailments they had swallowed during the challenging days in and out of class. In the small quarters of the bar quarters they shared in the colonial style dorms one would demand open-windows on the then absolutely frigid days and nights because he couldn’t take in air properly. His dorm partner shivered his way through the vaguely described malady that required “fresh air.” Another off-beat bar-dorm resident had repelled his dorm barmate the previous year and was assigned to a transfer to deal with the tortured post drinking round quiverings his parents had, he revealed, scarred into him. Most notable post-bar stumblings involved those differently abled in English, having arrived from India, Italy, Germany, China, etc., etc., etc. Befuddled out of class and even more in class by the North American Englished brews served in required rounds of English composition, survey of English literature, and Contemporary English Literature, they shared their wilted sensitivity, squeamish attempts to penetrate the drops of words professors expounded, and railed especially at ornate English language that they said burned their insides. In unending word droplets they catharsized the hurt brought by those undrinkable, they said, mugs of inaccessible, opaque, haughty, over serious, scattered droplets that demanded delving and, worst of all, required guessing at meaning. In the cloister like dorm tavern of the barless campus they through endless nights lamented that they couldn’t grab the over serious language conglomerations served to them.

At my college no college bar existed.

The venues that replaced the non-bars on campus bestowed their elegance, excitement, their joie de vivre.

The barless campus and its replacements, diner, chapel, ambulatory bars, dorm rooms exceeded any conventional imbibing establishment.

For that I forever cherish it.

There the liquor of life was seasoned, stored, preserved in the hearts, minds, and souls of those who together drank many multiplicities of pure life.

The barless campus and its replacements, no longer extant, stand out as the best bar, bar none!

It lives the eternal life.