I have ridden my bike past the little clapboard house often in the evening. Sunset is the time for history. When the sun is getting low in the sky, it reflects off houses to reveal their past. This house was left behind the rest of the neighborhood; and the style itself speaks of things gone, things disposed of.
The lawn was never manicured. The folks who once live there most likely had no notion of manicuring. They kept the grass from becoming host for mosquitoes and most certainly didn’t consider cutting the front yard on a perfect diagonal in order enhance curb appeal. In fact, when they built back in the forties nobody cared to drive along this gravel road down by the river. The river was more a sewer full of carp then.
“This picture looks like it was brought here from somewhere else.” “Will this property be for sale?” “Has somebody been living here”?
All my simple questions bounced back at my belly like rash intrusions. There was grief in the kids of this house, returned to the old island house to sell off their parents’ remains.
The kids really weren’t ready for an estate sale. Things were not marked, not categorized. And they would sell things for whatever people offered. The print had a masking tape price tag. “I will give you less,” I offered. “OK” was all the oldest child said.
Bright color fields of a water color original. All new and manicured. Gilded frame and happy. This picture did not belong in this grief house. It came from somewhere living. The frame shop was in Florida, bright sunshine place. This picture did not brighten the grief house. It was darkened by the place. A good rescue.
“Looking for a good home, the print whispered. Some place that I have the power to lighten. I tried here, but the gloom is too heavy, at least for now. Let the family mourn, I need an easier task.”