Home Sweet Home
Two weeks ago, they found a house in my brother’s neighborhood, put an offer in and it was accepted. In just four weeks, they will pack up 31 years worth of stuff and move it an hour away.
I loved my town. To say it was your typical John Hughes neighborhood would be an understatement. It is John Hughes’s neighborhood. (Well, it was back when I lived in it.) He grew up and lived in our town when I was boy. We both have since moved to opposite coasts, but our roots are there; in memories and film.
Northbrook, IL 60062. Commonly referred to as Shermer or Shermerville in his movies. Where Ferris Bueller had his name painted on a water tower. Where a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a criminal, and a princess all spent the day together. Where couple who were having their first child bought food at the grocery store I used to work at. And where a girl spent her birthday with Long Duk Dong.
I’m not a very sentimental person if you can believe it. Clutter drives me crazy, so I have a tendency not to stay attached to things and discard them quickly. Memories and photos are the basic minimum I usually require. It’s a weird dichotomy to be emotional with my writings, but not so much about things.
For all intents and purposes, I won’t be coming back to Northbrook after this weekend. There is no reason since I don’t know anyone here any longer. It hit me that I’ll be saying good-bye.
This house–my house–was the common thread of my existence. I celebrated achievements and losses in this house. My relatives who’ve passed on, all took part in holidays here. Pets came and went. I graduated 8th grade, high school and college from this location. And we were a family in this house.
Sadly, my son has never seen where I grew up. Since our situation took a while to be accepted, combined with the horrifying thought of flying on a plane with a youngster, we always believed there would be another time. Sometimes it’s best not to wait, huh?
True, the house no longer is the same it was back then. It accommodates two aging baby boomers instead of young children. The back yard is pristine and void of swing sets and sandboxes. But I can close my eyes and see the laughter and tears. That was the only time I shared a bedroom with someone other than my partner.
I entered that house a little boy and left a grown man.
We play many roles in our houses…or should I say our parent’s houses, whether we’re 8 or 39. From 1975 – 2006, I played them all: a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a criminal, and yeah let’s face it, even a princess … “in the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions.”
The end of an era in a way. During the midst of the packing, I’ll stay in my old room. For the last time, I’ll look out into the backyard where I looked for years… and I’ll say goodbye.
You were a good house.