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Monday, March 04, 2024

I knew this was coming for years. My parents decided to sell the house so they could live closer to the water and their boat (I don’t blame them. Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to drink and fish all day with minimal planning and effort?). Once I realized this, every time I came home I acted like it could potentially be the last time I see my house or my hometown of Miami.

Surprisingly enough, that didn’t mean getting hammered drunk every night. I celebrated with the little things: The spot in the backyard where I would light things on fire with a magnifying glass (don’t worry, guys, I grew out of that phase. I use gasoline and matches now), and the nook in my old room where my Playboy stash resided.

This time, however, I did something I had never done before. I brought a friend to stay with me. I usually don’t like to introduce people to my family (the devoted few of you who have read all of my columns know why), but I felt like I had to this time.

I shared as much as I could with my friend, who had never been south of Orlando. I had to show her everything. This is the way I drove to school. This is where my sister hit me in the head with a rock. I once walked along this street. This is where I had my first car accident. This is the haunted cave where I buried my treasure. This all existed, and now you can help me prove it.

In some sort of fitting event, my friend and I spent the last night in the house watching “Up” around a bunch of packing boxes. At the end, as Carl watches his house, the thing he associates with the love of his life, drift away, he comes to grips with the whole thing and says, “It’s just a house.”

There is more life to be lived. My house, although I’ve spent many good times in it, really is only a set of walls and a roof. I’ll be able to move on. I’ll be ready to answer these new questions. My only regret in all of this is that my dog can’t talk like the one in “Up.” Panchito just eats all our mangoes and poops on the patio. At least I won’t have to clean it up; that job can be left for the new owners.

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