If you told me five years ago that I would pull away from my house for the last time with Joe’s girl in a red rape van I would say you were nuts, but that’s just what happened.
June 15thsince I was six was the day my Father died, I scheduled the closing of my old house that day as closure the day my life and my Mom’s changed forever all those years prior.
As soon as we went into contract in April and set the date for June I worked tirelessly to be ready and with the exception of the one day when my buddy Mike helped me I was doing everything myself.
I lived in a ranch home, however I had a large amount of items in my basement including my collection of magazines. If you recall on the show I have a large collection of car, music, and Playboy magazines. These magazines I plan to catalog and sell on EBay which remains to be seen but none the less they are coming. They are also very heavy and moving them up the stairs and into the POD was exhausting.
I was thinking during moving all my things how do people do this, and it dawned on me “THEY HIRE PEOPLE” I am so used to doing things by myself it never even occurred to me to hire people or really ask for help. To keep myself from aches pains I got all compression sleeves for my arms and legs and wrists which did help but still at the end of the day I was all aches and pains.
As the closing day was approaching I was getting up every morning with apprehension as I had to get a certain amount of things done to keep on schedule and I would work past the point of exhaustion to keep on schedule. I must say my years as a Roadie then musician and a truck loader came in handy as if there is one thing I can do is pack, I did not waste one inch of space in the POD container and pretty much put four rooms of stuff in a eight by sixteen foot container.
The biggest obstacle was the biggest obstacle in my life, and that was my wife. I was working tirelessly to get ready and she had not even lifted a finger. As I was moving everything of mine out of the house she would just sit and watch TV. A month before the move I sat and told her that she needed to get moving, literally, I explained that as I never moved before I have discovered it takes a long amount of time to do, and as we are separating and moving apart I cannot, and will not help her.
She said she would be proactive; well it’s fun to pretend because she waited to the week before our closing to start to pack. I was at my wits end as I am trying to get all my stuff done, and I have this other person doing the bare minimum, and who knows if she will be ready in time.
I was smart enough to put in my separation agreement that if she wasn’t ready to move by the closing she was to forfeit the settlement money I was to give to her.
Two days before closing her movers show up in a truck they must have borrowed from the Little Rascals. They start to move her stuff and it looks like progress is being made. But my wife still has boxes to pack and time is running out and the movers must think I am an ogre because I am yelling at her to keep focused for the most part it was working as she put in a sixteen hour day as I did the day before we had to leave.
The night before our last day in the house my wife already had a place to stay and I worked on packing until eleven that night.
I always said years before I moved that last night I would sleep in the house I would sleep in the same room I did on my first night there, that room was my old bedroom and for twenty four years after was my office. As I had no furniture in the room I got my sleeping bag and slept on the hardwood floor. About three hours in I realized this was a stupid idea and moved on to the family room floor which was carpeted.
I woke up that morning to go to the front of the house to see the sunrise there for the last time.
The plan was to do the final packing, and pick up one of the vans from the day program which we lovingly call the red rape van. I need the truck as I also got a small storage unit to put my day to day stuff until I got my permanent place.
I work around the house until ten am to get the van and it dawns on me where is Wife???????
I call, I send texts, and nothing finally as I am heading back to the house in the van she calls and says she is heading to the house to finish packing. I then lose it and tell her that it is eleven o’clock and we have to be out at three pm, I told her that’s four hours and she has five hours of packing to go. When I explain this to her she says “ well I worked late last night and wanted to take it easy today” IT’S THE LAST DAY IN THE FUCKING HOUSE ARE YOU KIDDING ME”.
I get to the house with the van and I see a Harley in the drive way and I wondered who could that be. It was my child hood friend Johnny Dunphy who heard today was my last day in the house and bought me breakfast. It was one of the nicest things anyone has ever done and I will never forget, so much so when we are at the bar I make sure his glass is never empty.
I get back in the house and I am frantically packing the van as we are three hours away before we have to leave. My wife’s movers are picking up the last of her stuff and she has to go to the storage place and then come home.
We have to be at the lawyers for the closing at three and it is now two pm and she gets back home and I ask her if she cleaned out the refrigerator like I asked and she says no. I have to stop what I am doing and clean out the refrigerator, she then tells me I am throwing out some of her food. We have to leave in forty five minutes and that’s what she was worried about.
I was still trying to be ready on time and I was putting things outside the house so I could pick them back up after the closing. The last thing to do is throw my kitchen table out as it was shot and neither of us wanted it.
I walk in the kitchen and at a quarter to three wife is still putting her glass ware in a box. That was the last straw I flipped and just started throwing her glasses and dishes in a box breaking a good assortment of shit. She then tells me I never took my pots and pans, what pots and pans? She never told me. I then told her after this day she will never see me again as this is my day of freedom from her and what I have had to put up with.
We leave the house at three which is when we were supposed to be at the closing. My wife went to her car and I wanted five minutes to just walk around the house to be alone and say good bye and close the door for the last time knowing I am not coming back. I have always left for school, work, gigs, etc. knowing that I was coming back home but after today no more.
I call the law office and tell them we are going to be late. I then jump in the red rape van without having the time to change or shower and head to the lawyer’s office and walk in thirty minutes late in dirty jeans, a ripped tee shirt, a bandana on my head and the key to the rape van around my neck.
I explain to everyone in attendance that I am a business person and when I have a meeting I come on time and properly dressed,,,, and then there’s today.
My wife shows up five minutes later and we sign all the paper work and we are done. After the closing I have four big checks and the bank closing in twenty minutes. I said goodbye and thank you to everyone but not my wife. At this writing it has been five months since I have seen her, we have texted about some business but I can honestly say that after what she put me through from the time the house went for sale until the closing at the lawyers office that I do not regret us separating or miss her at all.
I get done at the bank and I have to pick up Joe’s girl and head back to the house and pick up the things that are outside. We loaded the truck and I was saying good bye to my neighbor I came back and she told me that there were three cardinals sitting on the phone wire looking down. They say cardinals are rarely seen together and when they come by it is a sign from a loved one in heaven and I know the three represented my Mom, Dad and Grandmother. They also say a bird that does not fly away or afraid is a sign as well and there was one the day before the move and I went up to it a told it I knew why it was here and thanked it.
The truck was loaded and it was time to leave for the last time. I walked around the perimeter of my property thinking of all the memories and the work I have done to the place. Joe’s girl held me as I broke down as the reality of what was happening was hitting me. I don’t know what of I would have done without Joe’s girl she has been my rock and strength through all of this.
We got in the truck, and for the last time I pulled away from the only place I really knew as home in a red rape van with Joe’s girl.
As I mentioned earlier I rented a small storage unit for items I would be using frequently until I got settled into my new place. The storage unit is on the second floor of the complex and we load the first load of stuff into the freight elevator, as we are riding up the complex manager see us and tells us the elevators are shutting down for the night, I ask when, and he says at six pm, I wouldn’t have minded if it wasn’t TEN TWO FUCKING SIX. The rest of the stuff had to go up a flight of stairs and down the hall. They close the place at ten pm they couldn’t do this shit then.
We get done had dinner and then had to figure out where I am staying, I had been so busy I did not think about where I was staying, I did buy another house didn’t I ??? Not so fast. Stay tune for part five.