It Was My First Man Cave

It has been the best keeper of my deepest and darkest secrets for the better part of four decades.

A place that has served as my own private hideaway even when it really wasn’t any longer.

It is a place where I spent all of my formative years and countless hours afterwards.

Triumph and tragedy and everything in between was felt, seen and experienced there, a refuge I thought would always be there.

But in less than a week my parent’s will move out of the house I grew up in and start the next chapter of their lives in a new place.

New Beginnings

I won’t lie and say I am not unhappy about their move but I won’t say that I am sorry either.

It is time.

They don’t need that size house anymore. They don’t need all of the additional space.

It is no longer populated by four kids, multiple dogs, cats, fish, hamsters or birds.

Time and use have had their way with it so there are repairs and upgrades to be made upon it.

The structure and foundation are as strong as they ever were so the changes that need to be made aren’t catastrophic or required immediately.

But they have to be done and when you don’t need all that space it removes the need to be responsible for such things.

So it is time for new beginnings.

Dreams and Ideas

If you and I were to sit and talk about my earliest dreams and ideas about life I would tell you about that room I mentioned above.

I’d tell you about how it evolved over time and how the furniture reflected those changes.

I’d tell you about how sometimes I would leave the room and climb the giant tree in the backyard so that I could climb upon the roof and just think.

Sometimes I’d walk along the roof to the place I thought was directly above my bedroom and I’d look up at the moon and smile.

Later on when I would be back in bed, I’d look straight up at the ceiling and smile again, certain that the moon was smiling back at me, even though I couldn’t see it.

Sometimes the dogs that shared our home would join me and I’d talk to them about my dreams and tell them some of my secrets.

I’d ask for their opinion but they would never do more than wag their tail or lick me.

That was enough to make me smile again and to encourage me to ask if they wanted to go for a run with me outside…under that moon.

A Bold & Brazen Keeper Of Secrets

Though I did it with all of them, one particular beast sticks out in my memory.

Perhaps it is because he entered our lives when I was twenty-something and because he spent time with me as both a single and married man.

Maybe it is because he got to meet my children when they were quite little and I saw how he watched over them.

Or maybe it is because one day when I told him about my day at the office and asked for his opinion he stole my dinner.

Yeah, that is probably it.

Hard to forget that big lug, but especially that night when he stood up and grabbed my Philly Cheese steak right off of the counter.

That is when I told him that being a brazen and bold keeper of secrets didn’t provide him with permission to eat my meal.

He didn’t care, he just wolfed it down and left my twenty-something year-old broke self to find something in a refrigerator that was almost empty.

I miss that lug, probably more than I’ll miss the house.

We had some really good times there and really good times together.

Time never stops moving, now does it.

*****

Editor’s Note: This was also published on Medium with a different headline.

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