Hey, you! Yes, you, who’d rather look at your phone than where you’re walking! Gather around and listen to this old bottle’s story of adventure and excitement.
I came to the University in 1977, an excited bottle hoping to get a degree in economics. I was excited to follow in the footsteps of my dad, who got his Ph.D. here, and I’m sure helps that I’m from the Pepper family.
As a young Coke addict, I was rolling to class one day when I somehow found myself encased in a thick layer of pavement. To this day, I still don’t know how it got on me, but I suspect that I had a blackout.
But I’m a bottle, which makes it pretty hard to make people notice my predicament.
I’ve tried to look on the bright side all these years. There’s a nice ambiance here, although there are some things I miss from my old life.
I loved playing Pong on my Atari. I loved hiking. I had hiked 45 out of 46 Adirondack 46er mountains. I was almost the first bottle ever to achieve that honor. Instead some stuck-up Nalgene bottle beat me to it just a few years ago.
As a bottle, I don’t need to —
Ouch! Get off your phone and watch where you’re walking! How dare you smash your heel into my cap as you run to office hours! I have feelings you know! No matter. I’ve been stepped on so many times, I’ve almost grown to like the taste of mud and salty ice.
This puddle, however, isn’t melted ice. It’s a puddle of tears from all the feelings I’ve had bottled up all these years from being trodden upon.
It’s been many years since President O’Brien stood just inches from me to discuss Carlson Library with some guy named Dean. That was the closest I’ve ever been to a conversation with a human, though I have had the pleasure to talking on occasion to a groundhog named Whistle Bark Teeth-Chatter. I guess he didn’t know English because I have no clue what he was saying.
What’s that? How do I survive all year?
It’s simple. As a bottle, I cannot drown when it rains nor run out of oxygen when it snows. The pavement keeps me warm in the winter, though it gets a little hot in the summers. But you don’t care, you probably have air conditioning in your dorms by now. You kids are so spoiled these days.
But I have to admit, I’ve picked up a lot from you over the years. Your mutterings as you pass by have taught me everything from RC circuits to the biology of tree barks to how coffee can really kick start your day. I’ve even picked up some new words from you young’uns, like “fleek,” “lit,” and “Yeezy.” If only I could get into the library, maybe I could get a book and actually find out what they mean.
You see some pretty cool things from this vantage point, too. I’ve seen the auroras flash overhead. I’ve weathered innumerable storms. I’ve seen many trees — seven — uprooted in windstorms.
It makes me happy that you’ve visited me to listen to my tale. I’m overjoyed that you’re looking down upon my sun-kissed head.
Wait, where are you all going? Oh, you there. You’re the only one left. Please, I don’t know how much time I have left. Share my story with the world. Let them know of the life of Saul N. Pepper.