"Life is hard, then you die.
Then somebody comes and takes all your stuff."
There is a house across from the little park where I walk.
Well, there was a house.
Boarded up for pretty much all the years I've lived in Norco, they finally tore it down sometime last month. Now it's just a pile of timber.
But it's not just ordinary stuff.
This house has been frozen in time. About two years ago the garage caved in. The next day or so, they pulled out a beautiful antique car. I later learned it was a 1939 Dodge. It still had the license plate on the back -- an old one. (I wonder how many DMV flags are on it by now.)
It's like they went to the grocery store, parked in the garage, went inside and never came out again.
I don't even know if they bothered to move out of the house before it was sealed with the boards and the "NO TRESPASSING" signs.
There are a couple of mattresses poking out among the ruins. And some pieces of what-nots glittering in the sun. And a red velvet blanket.
Someone pulled a little sofa out, perhaps to try to salvage it. It's one of those wooden things with red vinyl cushions. Someone really should call the set decorators from Mad Men.
And as I danced around the park circle to my tunes from the 80s, I wondered about those people.
Were they once a cute little couple, moving into their dream house? Did he go to work every day at Shell while his bride shopped at the Norco Co-Op or Loupe's? Did their children climb on that little sofa, take a nap under the red velvet blanket?
Did they go to my church in that ancient car?
I wonder where they went. Did one of them get sick and the other one get old trying to take care of him or her? Did their children help, or move far away from home to live their own lives?
Did their children finally decide it was time for them to be put in a home, tucked away in human storage to live out what little time they had left?
Did they forget to go back and get all their stuff?
Or could they only take the cherished things -- the pictures and the mementos of a life lived?
Whatever happened and wherever they went, I am assuming they died there. Because now, someone else is taking all their stuff.
There was a man and a truck there yesterday, combing through the ruins for anything left of value.
He didn't take the red sofa.