Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Delta of Venus
Our neighbors were an older couple, Herr and Frau Hierse. He had Parkinsons and a troop of carepeople. She was stalwart and fit and made sure he got out every day. At first he could walk, slowly and with help. Then with help, and shuffling with a cane. Then with a caretaker on each arm, his wife supervising. Finally in a wheelchair. Through the wall, I heard how well she played piano. She was kind to our kids. One day over the fence she told me they hadn’t had children because she found out after they married that she had kidney problems and needed dialysis. The shocker came when she died of an aneurism, and he was left with the carepeople, and no longer came outside. Eventually he moved to a nursing home and a year ago he died, leaving no heirs. The house stood empty until this week when all the furniture, rugs, lamps and knick-knacks found themselves on the curb, to be picked through by scavengers. I was one. I found a box of books, and learned more about them in a half hour than in 8 years of being their neighbor.