An overflowing mailbox. Coupons to no one in particular. Credit card offers to people who maybe lived here years ago. A ‘More’ magazine. A brochure from a department store. Correspondence yearning for eyes that are no longer there. The mail will eventually get stacked on the pile of recyclables in one of the rooms. Hanging on the wall above this pile is a photo frame.
A photo frame angled awkwardly with no one to set it straight. Every few weeks the frame held a different photo. The one right now is of a girl of six smiling wide at the camera and showing her braces. The other pictures that featured in this carousel of pictures are now neatly returned to organized photo albums.
Photo albums revealing decades of improvement in technology, from cheap Polaroids to digital prints. From faded pictures at the bottom of the stack to new ones at the top, each album capturing a different chapter in a story, stacked chronologically in a filing cabinet.
A filing cabinet, chipped in several places, battle scars from years of service. The slides from one of the drawers is bent, making it squeaky and not as smooth as it once was. Replacement parts are preserved in a box somewhere in the garage.
A garage that has accumulated stuff over the years, so much so that the single car it used to house had to be parked outside before it found new owners in the recent past. Stuff including books decomposing, clothes not suitable for wear and gadgets not functional. One of the few things functional in the garage is a pair of an old Maytag washer and dryer.
A dryer in the corner of the garage, hiding a lone sock in the dust behind it. The partner of this lone sock, folded and tucked away, once anxiously, then patiently and now forlornly waiting in a dresser in the bedroom to be reunited with its mate.
A contemporary dresser, a gift from one of the sons, at odds with the other antique furniture in the house. Reflected in the mirror on top of the dresser and distorted by the crack running across its side, a crack etched in the memory of one of the grand kids who got a spanking for that particular offense, is the master bedroom’s walk in closet.
A walk in closet, half of which is empty. An invisible boundary maintained long after the clothes from that half were donated in mourning. The other half is neatly organized into sections. Night clothes, jeans, trousers, skirts, tops, dresses. A few hangars are empty. Clothes not returned from a wash, the cycle broken in a laundry basket.
A worn laundry basket next to the bathroom door, full of unwashed clothes, close to a full load, maybe a day away from being dragged to the washer. A day that will now never come. Nestled at the bottom of the basket is a sliver of foil from a blister pack of pills, likely to have fallen from the medicine cabinet above.
A medicine cabinet housing several medications. Half empty bottles with pills. Pills that have now outlasted their use to delay the inevitable.