Chapter 56: “Moving Out of the First House”
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Ever since my battle with cancer, memories were something that I was compelled to create in abundance. Those memories didn’t need to be tied intrinsically to monumental moments in my life but also derived from simple things such as melodies and quiet nights at home. This next memory, however, involved an event of middling proportions: the departure from my very first home rental… and return to living with my parents.
Tony had made it clear about a month prior that he wanted to head down south to the very town of which I was a temporary resident; Bangor. I was unsure of how long I would be in Northern Maine and so, I asked my Mom if I could live with them at their house. She said yes. Shawn had found a place nearby me with another student of Fort Kent Community High School, only one year removed from us.
These were the last remaining days of this house; one that had held so many important memories for us all – most of which – made it to tape. We began the striking process, packing all of our things away and cleaning the now infrequently used portions of the house, namely the basement and the small “room” before Tony’s. He moved out first, leaving a quiet hum of silence in his place. He took Corona, the cat I loved dearly, and brought her to his parents’ house at Cross Lake. I took Travis and I’s cats, Simon and Lucky respectively with me to my Mom’s (Dad said no to another cat, they already had three). And as for Forrest… Well, Shawn gave him up months prior due to behavioral issues.
I didn’t expect moving out of this small starter house to hurt so much. It was a cherished place for us and we all wondered (albeit to ourselves) if this was going to have an adverse effect on our collective friendship.
I remember during one of our first parties, ripping a hole into the arm of my green A Perfect Circle shirt my sister had bought me months prior and fuming about how a random nail had ruined my favorite shirt. I still wore it way past this point– hole or no hole.
I remember when Shawn’s brothers would stay over (no, not that time I got in trouble) during the dead of winter when we would trick Kevin into thinking someone was outside our house. We’d knock on the walls and say we saw someone sneaking around. He eventually threw his boots on and chased the “intruder” around, even going as far as claiming he saw his tracks and everything. Meanwhile, we’re all busting our guts, desperately trying to keep it together while he gave us a brief status report amidst his pursuit.
Then there was the time when we had ordered a six-foot party sub for our group before a massive party and I stupidly ate six inches of it because that was what I thought you did… That was a LOT of sandwich. It’s a good thing I didn’t drink, otherwise, that would have been all over the bathroom hours later.
Oh, and how could I forget when I messed with Jason and Trav by trying to light their arm hair as they played GameCube? Or when we made one of the various videos like the short “Drug Raid” we shot one boring night?
We made the best of our time there and now, this chapter was coming to a close. (Not THIS chapter mind you, the metaphorical one).
I was set to move into a house with myriad more memories. My Mom and Gary took over the house a few months before Pepere’s death; a house that Memere and Pepere had occupied for over five decades together and the same house that Travis and I once stayed at during our foster care run.
Needless to say, the memories were vast at this house. I remember when Travis and I stayed there, I used to go room by room (starting with the bathroom) and “fight” through hordes of enemies from all of the mediums of my youth: I’d fight through the Foot Clan, Mario villains, and end my journey upstairs with the big bosses: Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, and King Koopa.
Then it hit me. I would be one of those college students who would move back in with their parents. Did that mean I was a failure? Would I ever get out of this town? Would I ever work in film? No, I’m not a failure. Yes, I’ll get out of this town. And yes, you will work in film. This is only temporary.
I had free reign over which room I would stay in upstairs and so, I chose the one above the living room; the one that was an old storage space. It must have been eighteen feet long and twelve feet wide (no joke). It was HUGE. So huge, in fact, that I was able to bring my ping pong table from the house and set it up for the occasional game and still have room for everything else. Believe it or not, but I had moved into the room where I fought the big bosses as a kid. Take THAT Koopa! Hi-yah! I’m pulling you out of the dream world, Freddy! You’re useless out here! I have the dagger from ‘Jason Goes to Hell,’ Jason! And what’s this? I’m a cousin of the Voorhees bloodline? BAM! Back to hell!
The house wasn’t entirely the same as before for Mom and Gary had renovated the kitchen by tearing down the small room near the staircase that Travis and I once shared. I was mildly bummed about this as some of my favorite moments were in that room. It might sound silly, but I remember being able to fit under the bed (it had a higher frame than most) and lying down to talk to Trav for a while. It was an armistice zone in the middle of our endless conflict.
We cleaned the rental house and turned over our keys. As we drove away for the last time, a sense of pride overcame me. We will always look back on this year of our lives in the rosiest of rose-tinted glasses…
….and I have the footage to prove it.
You know, I’m going to continue the documentation at the new (old) place; here’s to creating even more memories.
This is an ongoing story of my personal battle with Cancer. My hope is that it helps others who are currently experiencing their own battles (whether it be for themselves or a loved one) or to help with early detection.
The way I’m doing it is terrifying for a writer. I’m writing a publically available first-draft outline for an eventual book, chapter by chapter in weekly form. The only reason I’m doing it this way is to get the story out as soon as possible for someone out there who needs a survivor to visit them during their own treatment. If you’re reading this and need someone to talk to, tweet at me and I’ll give you a call. No questions asked. This story is for you and I’ll help any way that I can.
Stay tuned, as I will be posting a new chapter every Monday until the story is complete.
And remember if you experience any Anemic symptoms– get checked for Leukemia as well.