The long goodbye

I said goodbye to my house last week.

My mom, as I mentioned about a quarter billion times, is selling the house I grew up in. I went home to clean it out.

This was an enormously difficult task, as I have quite a huge amount of shit. I’m a horrid pack rat, and I collect Rolling Stone and Spin.

I managed to part with about 3/4, maybe even 4/5 of my stuffed animals. The rest are currently sitting in a garbage bag, since I have absolutely no place else to put them, but I couldn’t bear the thought of giving them away.

Yes, I realize I’m insane.

Leaving the house was weird, partly because nothing in it really seemed right. Everything in my room was clean, which is ridiculously out of the ordinary.

The floor guys had come to replace the wooden floors in the dining room and den that poor old Tiger (may he rest in peace) and poor old Fat Cat (same, and yes, that really was his name) ruined after years of pissing on the rugs, so there was no rug or furniture or anything in either, so all the furniture was in the kitchen and the living room.

I couldn’t even get to the fridge, which if you’ve met me or either of my parents, you know is a key fixture in the house.

I also left very, very early in the morning, so it was pretty dark and I couldn’t really see the house too well.

Really, I think the real reason it didn’t feel like as much of a goodbye is that I really said goodbye to that house when I left for college. I’ve been back for a grand total of about two months since.

My friend Mark has lived in that house for at least double that over the last 2 summers.

Chicago (or at least Evanston, though I hesitate, like all suburb-dwellers, to identify it as my actual place of residence) is my home now, and I treat it as such. I love it here, and I don’t wanna move.

Unlike D.C., which I can never fucking wait to get out of, no matter how short a time I spend there.

It was a great old house though, and leaving behind 21 years (or at least the 18 before I left for college) worth of memories was quite difficult.

Finding the pictures of my dad with the Dumbest Facial Hair Ever, however, was quite amusing.

The photos were dated 1973, and my dad had huge sideburns that connected on either side to a mustache. No beard, just this thing that would be a chinstrap if only it went to his chin. It was more like a nosestrap.

My mom has mentioned several times that she’s glad he shaved that dumb thing off before she met him, because otherwise he would have been summarily dismissed.

But finding the little tiny shoes I wore when I was a little baby, the little baby sleeper marked “0-10 pounds,” the little donut with the tank top attached swimming thingy that I used when I was learning to swim when I was like 2, and a shoebox full of pictures of me when I was a real little kid was bittersweet.

I didn’t remember any of it, but for some reason it still made me nostalgiac for the old place.

But it will be gone soon. The open house is this coming weekend. So if anyone you know is in the market for a 4br, 3.5 bath home in the Palisades area of Washington D.C., I can point you in the direction of a damn good one.

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