|Walt and Ruth (standard:other, 3967 words)|
|Author: Brett D||Added: May 22 2009||Views/Reads: 1608/1095||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Short read. A painful memory at times equates to a solemn tribute.|
Ruth and Walt... A story of consequence As I type this, I can hear my heart pulse in my left ear. For some reason, when thinking of these two cherished persons, (Walt and Ruth that is), my blood pressure elevates. Perhaps it's because of the way my heart swells with such wonderful feelings when thinking of the friendship I had developed with this elderly couple. They must have been in their seventies when we started “hanging out”. I myself was just a young boy wanting to eat fresh peas right off the vine from their garden. They welcomed me in with smiles on their weather ravaged faces and offered me the kind of love similar to that of my own, blood grandparents. Or maybe, my racing heart hammers because I'm ashamed of the last conversation I had with Walt which resulted in me failing him the day before he died. From the front porch of our house in Allentown, one could sit and stare at the vast greenness of the hillside that stretched the panorama of a person's peripheral to peripheral. As a child, I would sit, stare in hours of fascination and wonder what the people, living up there in the spattering of visible houses, were doing or thinking. And really, my goodness, how far away they were! They were living in another world, very far out of reach from my own. I always suspected they lived a life free from the challenges faced by the poor and lowly of Allentown. Once, when I contemplated running away, that's where I wanted to go. I remember getting to the front of the yard and losing my nerve. Chuckie had been yelling and carrying on to anybody who would listen, declaring that I was running away. But when I turned back and started walking toward the Grey House, his vocal alarm of concern turned to taunting. I guess I figured that Allentown wasn't so bad. At least, it wasn't bad enough to risk finding out the world on the hillside wasn't as carefree as I imagined. That little fantasy was worth dreaming about for a little while longer. It's kind of like buying a Lottery ticket and not checking the number right away. That fantasy is also worth dreaming about for a little while. Instead of looking out into the hillside, a person could focus a bit closer and look to the little house directly across the street. Standing in defeat to time, her deteriorated grey paint job and concrete steps that at one time had been painted pink, starkly contrasted the lush green grass, overgrown and jungle-like, which now surrounded her. The detached garage stood next to her on his own sagging legs, embarrassingly exposing his inner contents through a large front opening that was missing a door. A casual glimpse of the dirt floor covered in oil stains and the old stacks of browning newspaper which were neatly tied then piled against a wall with gaps and cracks, afforded one a plausible insight to the life he once experienced. But between these two points, still visible from the front porch, on this side of the railroad tracks, one could also view a small, bright, yellow house with brown trim. Apple and pear trees divided the house from the fence line and small running gardens were planted as space would allow. The grass was neatly maintained. The weeds were meticulously removed from both the grass and garden areas. Two old sheds stood next to each other in the yard. Each had the signs of age and a little neglect but their unpainted husks added to the charm of this little house and her little yard. I became very familiar with every inch of their garden areas. I knew the grass lines and the lawn's imperfections like the back of my hand. I became very intimate with all the areas between the wood fence and the outside perimeter of their house. I can still remember how nothing really changed. Every house that I have ever owned has always been my weekend project. My yard never looked exactly the same, year after year. Walt and Ruth's yard always looked the same. Tidy. Not busy. Obviously, free from the destructive nature of children. I never gave this cloaked observation much thought until after they were gone. The yard and house fell into such a state of blatant disrepair, it would have looked very much akin next to the old house I had mentioned earlier. As a boy, I delivered papers. I would fill my musty smelling canvas delivery bag with papers after I rolled them up and secured them with a Click here to read the rest of this story (301 more lines)
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