The son, who rarely visited the father, spent this whole weekend dismantling his life. The small house next door is empty now. I came to escape my own reality, and instead witnessed the removal of all trace of a life. At speed. Two days to wrap up 89 years – just a few days after it ended. Clang after clang as the years are tossed in the skip. Or is it the sound of inviting the bell, inviting mindfulness in me around this experience – I’d rather have buried my head.
I can see a suitcase on the coffee table. He sat there for a part of each day, reading, looking out to sea, moving to another of his default positions, as directed by the sun. Pulled the curtains in the early evening, opened them at bedtime so that the first light of each day wasn’t missed. A routine man, our neighbour.
The son closed the back doors this evening. Curtains and furniture rubbished out the front. Memories trashed. Let’s hope the suitcase held photos and family stories. Let’s hope the contents are on their way south tonight. Let’s hope the tales will be retold.