It’s been real, 920 Spring Street. It’s been really, really real. Two years spent in one apartment with the same four friends who paid rent and many, many more who simply paid visits. It was really great.
Two balconies, three bedrooms and two bathrooms situated on the corner of Park and Spring, with Smith and Ogg in clear sight and Sellery in distant view. A grassy (yet, rarely green) front yard was the playground. In the fall it had a different, drink-oriented purpose.
Nothing should ever be thrown off a balcony, but aluminum cans, footballs (actually, touchdowns) and jeers slipped over the railing with regularity. Singing, too. The heartfelt, emotion-filled renditions of anything Chris Brown or N’Sync naturally left our balcony as well, spilling into Madison’s sophomore slums.
After 730 days, it was time to say goodbye to 920 Spring Street, the place where my bedroom dwarfed the others and playtime dwarfed study time. I’m glad that this ratio is par for the course at UW-Madison. I’m glad we have four (or 4.5, or five, or however many) years to experience it. In my fourth and final, it’s a move to 114 S Randall. Don’t ask me why. I’m still slightly confused. It’s easy to understand this move was difficult to take.
Too many memories are easily recalled from the nooks and crannies of apartment No. 302. The clearly obvious started when we moved in and Kev and Zig scraped paint from the wall with the base of a couch. I’m not proud of the act, but that couch was rightfully thrown off the balcony in May.
There’s the window blinds that, when extended their true width, block out less than half the light. The blinds were just not strong enough to hold on for 30 days, much less 730.
There’s the nonexistent screen door, which met many foes, including Kev, Zig and the wrath of a flustered, tipsy Nikki Klukas. It was fine and broken and fixed and broken and fixed and broken and replaced (AT NO CHARGE!). Erik and Kevin (or maybe just Kevin) left a hole in the wall never worth fixing.
There’s red marks on a white wall where a well-crafted beer pong table fails to be forgotten.
The loaf of bread once-forgotten above the cupboards caused an infestation of fruit flies for a (less-than) solid month. The year-round ceiling draping Christmas lights and the posters of Chris Bosh and Lindsey Vonn and Project X and Mr. Budweiser have left pin-hole remnants likely numbering four digits.
A stranger walks in and notes silly things on the walls, like the “No Dogs Allowed in the Park” sign or campaign between Kate Upton and Megan Fox (that got plenty of votes, thank you). A stranger walks in wonders why the base of the refrigerator is patched up via zip-ties, as if there was no other option. They walk in and wonder why the boys that live on Park and Spring display a street sign from Charter on their wall. In each of these wonders is the character of five boys and (more than) a few friends and how they chose to enjoy (relative) freedom in 1,325 square feet.
The best part about this realization of character in the abode of 20-somethings is that on this campus, those abodes are everywhere. Spring and Park. The Breese Terrace. North Bassett and West Wash. Charter and Dayton. Langdon and, you know, those places over there.