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.  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.  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.

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  1. TheJackB August 27, 2011 at 6:50 am

    @ExpatDoctorMom Hi Rajka. I hope to be able to add to that post and those thoughts soon. While I am waiting for the truck to arrive I snuck onto the computer.

  2. TheJackB August 27, 2011 at 6:49 am

    @Hajra I told the kids that if it didn’t hurt to leave it would mean that we had wasted our time here and that because it does it is an indication of how many special memories have been created.

  3. TheJackB August 27, 2011 at 6:47 am

    @AdrienneSmith Hey Adrienne. The best part is that we’re getting rid of 17 years of stuff. There is something refreshing and cleansing in letting go of some of the stuff that we don’t need any more.

    I definitely agree with you that it is best to look at this as an opportunity. I am sort of sad but excited about it.

  4. ExpatDoctorMom August 27, 2011 at 3:36 am

    I was wanting more after your last post about the move and grandparents. Meaning the last was so well written and leaving you wanting more… So sorry that it is a post about your move.

    WIshing you many many more happy memories in your new abode!


  5. Hajra August 27, 2011 at 3:21 am

    Its hard moving, recent;y my parents had to move and leave the house we grew up in. It was sad, very difficult actually but then life moves on.

    Cherish the memories, that’s what makes life so much more special 🙂

  6. AdrienneSmith August 26, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Boy do I hate moving. I’ve been in my condo for 19 years, lived upstairs the first two year. But luckily for me, I don”have a lot of stuff but I still hate moving. The only good thing to come from it is obviously it’s just time for a change.

    I have no doubt that this is just the beginning of yet another fun journey, that’s the way I care to view it! Enjoy the ride Jack and as always, thanks for sharing your experiences with us. Always enjoyable!

  7. TheJackB August 26, 2011 at 10:16 am

    @BetsyKCross You are absolutely right about that. This isn’t as hard as it could be- we still have our things. Although some times I look at the boxes and think that we have far too much stuff. Oy, been packing for a thousand years now.

  8. TheJackB August 26, 2011 at 10:14 am

    @bdorman264 Hi Bill. I am ready to make the change and start taking next steps. Truth is that I have been ready for a while. If you relate it to natural disasters I am an earthquake type of guy.

    Not real interested in watching and waiting for the storm to hit. I much prefer to hit things head on and the slow process with which this has taken place has been chafing my hide.

  9. TheJackB August 26, 2011 at 10:12 am


    We have been here for ten years and accumulated an enormous amount of stuff, can’t imagine what 20 years would look like.

    Life does go on and the reason places are special are because of the people that lived there. It definitely feels bittersweet but change brings opportunity so now I am looking to see what that will mean for us.

  10. TheJackB August 26, 2011 at 10:10 am

    @Soulati | PR Thank you- all very true and all will come to pass.

  11. Soulati August 26, 2011 at 7:23 am

    And, all your strength and confidence and love will see you through — the other side where happiness will once again be with you and your family, The Jack. Ensh’allah. XO

  12. Lori August 26, 2011 at 6:08 am

    Hi Jack,

    It is hard to leave the house where your children were born and took their first steps! Five years ago we moved from the home we’d live in for twenty years. It was a bitter-sweet parting, even though we were moving to a nice place in the country. I still remember moving day when we’d taken trips back and forth to the new place and went back to the old house for the final time. As we were leaving my husband said, “Bring your car.” It’s a small car that wasn’t being used for the move. When I got into it and drove away from the house for the last time, it was a strange feeling!

    But life goes on, doesn’t it. 😉


  13. bdorman264 August 26, 2011 at 4:53 am

    New journey Jack, new opportunities; cherish the memories but keep looking forward. Godspeed…..

  14. BetsyKCross August 26, 2011 at 2:37 am

    Hi Jack!

    I often wonder about real-life tornado victims. In the end all we have are the snapshots logged in our memories, ones that have parties with our heart when triggered . At least they don’t have to be packed, taped shut and lugged around, leaving us hoping they don’t fall out everywhere!

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