My parents have lived in the same house since I was 3, and for those that know how old I am ( or thereabouts), you’ll know that this is at least 3 decades.
The house is now sold, the boxes are being packed, and for most of us, the tears are flowing.
My first kiss.
My wedding day.
Crazy pool parties, and drunken shenanigans.
My 18th, My 21st, My 30th, and every other birthday in between.
Tears in my pillow from breakups.
Using the mirror to blot my lipstick, and the number “357”, which was my school bus number were written on the mirror.
A wall of my bedroom, covered in a giant, graffited “KTE”, the smell of spray paint permeating the house was the clue my parents had to the “artistic” events that had taken place that day before they came upstairs and saw what had been done.
A leg, then the other, squeezing out of the window, to then drop down to the roof, then the neighbours windowsill, a stretch to the fence and the jump – was the path of my sneaking out at night – and the opposite to get back into bed in the morning before I was caught.
The same guys run the corner shop now, as when I was 10, and we used to get a 25c bag of Cobbers, where I played pac-man and shinobi with coins stolen from my dad’s change-bowl.
My initials are engraved in the wood on the upstairs windowsill. Next to those of my best friend, Margaret. Actually, we used our teeth-braces to scratch these initials, so they aren’t exactly legible, but I know they are there.
From 3, I lived here, loved here, cried and laughed here.
And now. Someone else will live here.
I won’t be able to pop over because I have no food for dinner, or enough money to buy washing powder. I won’t be able to move back in after a breakup, or an extended trip overseas, or just because I wanted to.
To my brother. I’m sorry I tricked you into running down the hallway for 50c, tripping over the fishing wire I’d strung up, thus causing your to split your head open. I remember the castles we made from the lounge cushions, the hole you kicked in the wall, the fights, the ball-down-the-hall game, the way you let me hang out with your and your mates skating, but most of all , your usually calm, beautiful soul and smile. You’re such a great dad now, I know how loved your kids are, and how you strive to be just like Dad in bringing laughter and joy to your house.
To my Mum and Dad. You are fucking champions. And maybe I haven’t had kids yet, because I have no idea how I could ever be as awesome as you guys.
And since Margaret passed away 6 years ago, this has been the one place I had real solid memories of the two of us. Me and my shadow.. The handstand comps are memories, the pool parties are over.
But it’s time to go, everyone inside now, games are over.
See. The street lights have just come on.