The Story Of A House- The Final Night
I wasn’t angry when I wrote the first post but I certainly am now. I don’t have to look in the mirror to know that the vein in my forehead is protruding ever so slightly or to know that I am wearing a face known as “don’t fuck with me now.”
In the days when I was a but a young lad it is the sort of look that accompanied me on more than a few forays into the outside world.Â Some would term that time the boys will be boys period but I just call it “boy I was really fucking stupid and incredibly lucky.”
I have some great stories that come from those days. I can sit down and tell you about the idiot who drove drunk, raced a train, jumped off of buildings and got into a few disagreements here and there. Not only can I tell those stories I can make you laugh, clap me on the back and tell me you wish that you could have been a part of it. That is the benefit of being a writer and a decent storyteller.
I am not proud of all of those stories. Some of them do nothing but prove that I survived playing the fool. They also are what scare me about being a father. I don’t spend much time worrying about pedophiles, rapists, robbers and thugs. Most of us don’t run into them and I’ll take the odds that we will be fortunate enough not to encounter them.
What I worry about is that the kids will be like me. I have lots of good traits that are worth emulating but that crazy, reckless guy isn’t one that I am eager for them to take after.
Technically Friday night is our last night here but in my book the last night is tonight. Right now it looks a bit like a tornado swept through this place but when I get through with it tomorrow Hurricane Jack will make it feel like a 7.2 earthquake has come through here. It won’t resemble home at all. It will be a few boxes, scraps of paper and the beds.Â The bookcases are naked and the shelves devoid of the pictures that helped to add warmth to the room. The CDs have been packed up and boxed alongside the vinyl 33s that I say I am going to play again.
As I sit here typing Sweet Child of Mine is playing and I find myself remembering what it was like to roam the Sunset Strip in the late eighties and early nineties. Big hair, red fingernails, leather skirts and long legs that gave me all sorts of funny ideas. We didn’t hit the strip often, but every now and then it made for a fun time. I can see us riding in the back of an old convertible next to guys on Harleys. Skinny guy with long hair, headband and a bad attitude is shouting at us. We’re stopped at a light and he is talking way too much for a guy who is alone.
He stares at me and rattles off a bunch of names. I laugh and tell him that I don’t hit girls. The guys in the car laugh and we slap hands. While my head is turned he takes a swing at me but doesn’t quite connect. Someone hasn’t figured out that a Harley isn’t a warhorse. It doesn’t have a mind of its own. It won’t kick, bite or protect the knight who is riding it. He ends up falling against the car- right where I happen to be sitting. I am true to my word, I don’t hit him.
Moving under any circumstances brings a certain amount of stress but this time around there is more than normal. If karma is real I might need to think about why things have happened like this and figure out what my role is., but I won’t. Much as I like the idea of fate and or destiny being involved I just don’t buy into it or so I say. This situation is explained far too easily. There is nothing abnormal or supernatural about it. That doesn’t make me feel any differently about it. There will be no tears or laughter because of that.
I have long since turned this situation into business. That is how I view it. I pull emotion out and look at it as objectively as I can. The reality is that if you love your home it is invaluable to you. You could have given me a billion dollars and there would be some sorrow at leaving. The dark haired beauty was created in this house. The kids learned how to walk here. This neighborhood is where they went through a million different pieces of childhood. This is the last house my grandparents saw me in. This is the scene and the setting of triumph, tragedy and failure.
Ten years ago I watched them jump from the towers while my son built towers with blocks and knocked them down. This is the house where Thomas the Tank Engine made him jump up and down with excitement. It is where Dora had a dance party and children celebrated a million different events big and small. Or should I say…it was because that place exists now only in memory.
When you weigh a buck twenty naked you need to remember that a headband, shoes and jeans don’t add much more in the way of weight. It is probably not smart to aggravate the guy who has arms like a gorilla and hands that his friends call paws because if you do he might gently use your lips to buff the side of the car. And one day years later he might sigh wistfully and wish that it had been videotaped because he recognizes that some memories evolve over time.
It has been fun my friends. Be good to each other.