The House On The Hill

My mind’s distracted and diffused,
My thoughts are many miles away,
They lie with you when you’re asleep,
And kiss you when you start your day. — Simon and Garfunkel

Grass is growing wildly in the garden behind the house on the hill.

Jane would tell her husband of 35 years to tend to such a matter, but his heart attack six months prior rendered him incapable of doing what was once considered his “area of expertise.”

On their wedding day, the garden was filled with rows of white, yellow, and red zinnias, ornamental sunflowers, daises, and red roses. Jane walked down the garden’s narrow cobblestone path in her mother’s wedding dress, while her father gave her away at the alter.

It was a late May afternoon in New England that day; the day when the garden radiated inexplicable beauty.

Jane pulls the periwinkle blue curtain and gazes out at the garden through the kitchen window. At the stray weeds. At the unkempt grass. As she boils water for Tom’s morning tea, she decides that a gardner must be called. She adds the reminder to her to-do list; she tells people that her to-do list is what keeps her sane.

When Tom’s heart shut down on Monday, February 7th at 5:45 pm, paramedics rushed him to Massachusetts General Hospital. His heart attack was like a thief in the night, leaving  broken spirits in their wake.

Jane has a little spare time before she must prepare dinner. A record that’s been brought down from the attic is now collecting dust on the dining room table that they seldom use. This record has been taunting Jane with what used to be. With hazy recollections of staying out till three and kissing by her parents’ lake house and their first slow dance at the high school’s winter formal. 

Tom bought her Simon and Garfunkel’s “Kathy’s Song” when they were 18 years-old. She gives in and begins to listen to the tune, recalling the melody that’s been long forgotten.

And so you see I have come to doubt

All that I once held as true

I stand alone without beliefs

The only truth I know is you.

Jane stops listening after that because it hurts too goddamned much.