Mason drove out to his dad’s old house in Ottawa on Saturday. He asked if I wanted to come—after all, it was my house, too, since I was married to his father.
He seemed relieved when I said no.
I bet he went to escape the County Fairness of us all. He likes quiet, and that’s in short supply. After he left, the rest of us did spring cleaning. We moved the previous owner’s furnishings to the basement, and for the first time, I allowed Eve and Levi to throw away some of the owner’s personal belongings. I felt guilty deciding which of their papers to toss, so I never did. But since Eve and Levi moved in so much later, so far now after the SUCs, they aren’t as hung up on sentiment. They want the place they’re living in clean, and if that means giving the heave-ho to dead people’s tax returns, so be it.
After we finished, Eve made a little smudge pot with some herbs from Brazil, and walked around each room with it, waving her hand above the smoldering herbs and saying nice things. I guess talking to the spirits, or maybe just to us, to cheer us up.
As of this morning, Mason hasn’t returned yet. We thought he was coming back last night for dinner, but no.
Jill Riddell is a writer in Chicago. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute and has a weakness for nature, magic, and pennies abandoned in sidewalk cracks.