C. Adam Pfander Photograph


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Reunited at Last

December 11, 2012   

This morning greeted me with a long anticipated email, a quick note from the mail center explaining I had a package to pick up.  The postman had delivered to Hamilton a humble box with my address emblazoned across the top; none could have guessed the contents that waited inside.  Gladly, I strode to the package window and received my mail.

Inside the box was an assortment of scattered items I forgot at home over the Thanksgiving holiday—some old shirts, a hefty handful of socks, but most importantly, my water bottle.  This blue and white Hamilton Nalgene has been the object of all my longing over the past three weeks. 

I have been forced to walk awkwardly from water fountain to water fountain, taking minute-long drinks from the stream and forming quite a line behind me.  I used a measuring cup as a mug, filling it from the faucet and carrying it back to my desk to sip from.  The whole time, the lost form of my water bottle haunted my memory.

But now everything is back to normal; my old compatriot is reunited with his home.

My misery, however, was slightly assuaged by the compassion of other Hamilton students who recognized my plight.  They understood the water bottle was a form of identity, part and parcel of my life as a student.  Losing the Nalgene was losing a mainstay of my (still brief) Hamilton College career.

I’ve witnessed water bottles on the Hill decorated with stickers from our student-run radio station WHCL, from Opus cafe and from the Campus Activities Board (CAB).  I’ve seen names brushed in white-out and colored sharpie.  I once saw a Nalgene covered on all sides by fluorescent yellow tape.

Mine is a simple, plain Hamilton Nalgene.  No frills, no designs, though there is a series of white scratches on the side from dropping it down the stairs; it was quiet and dignified. It held my seat when I left the room, it complemented my cluttered desk, and most importantly, it quenched my thirst whenever I wanted it.

It’s good to be reunited.