Inexorably, many signs that my mother once lived here are disappearing.
My father checked out long ago, dead for decades, even while alive; dead inside from the bitter realization that, appearances nonwithstanding, he was an alcoholic failure who made colossal mistakes at key decision points in his life.
I have spent this past week — when not bingeing on the Netflix series The Lørenskog Disappearance — relentlessly getting rid of every vestige of their past. I’ve put aside some things: some important papers, a few yellowing photographs, a valuable figurine or bibelot here and there.
But as for the rest, and by that I mean the 37 years that my parents lived here — the evidence that it ever happened is fast vanishing. Any sentimentality about this on my part is now erased. I pack the Subaru every day with one more load, and drive to the town recycling center. I feel nothing as I throw away my mother’s things. It’s over. She lived a very long time — far too long, in her own opinion, as her body became ravaged with the unendurable pain of lung cancer and liver disease and heart trouble — but now she suffers no more.
Yesterday, the real estate agent came by with a professional photographer named Duncan. I chatted with him briefly; he seemed unaware of the Macbeth association. And so it goes. The peasants assume the name of kings, and no one is the wiser.
My parents’ house goes on the market a week from Monday. By the time I leave next Thursday, there will be even less left of my parents’ legacy — not that anyone cares, but for me.
I shall always remember that, to my own dying day: no one really gives a shit about you. Not really. In the final analysis, all human relationships are simply transactional.
Only that, and nothing more.
I find this massively reductive conclusion provisonally liberating.