from: "Condry, Mark"
date: Thursday, September 16, 2004 8:25 PM
subject: the house

Holy fuck.

I tried calling you five times today but I got your machine. I really need to talk. Call me soon as you can.

Where do I start? The house is still there. It’s this generic one-story thing, bricks and siding. It must have been built at the same time as the other homes in the neighborhood, but it just looks older. The roof is scarred in places. The driveway hasn’t held up like the others have. Cracks in the pavement. A plank is missing from the side gate.

I rang the doorbell and figured I’d just talk to the new owners. No one answered. I couldn’t really hear if it worked or not. Blinds and curtains in the windows kept me from peering inside. There was a dusty pickup truck with a warped front fender parked in the driveway.

A neighbor across the street saw me checking it out. He talked to me for a while, as he watered his shrubs. He hasn’t met the person who lives in the house now, or if anyone is living there really. He remembered Kurt, but not by name, just as the guy who stayed there for a few months. The previous owners – Kurt’s clients – didn’t live there that much longer. They had all sorts of problems with the house. Electrical, heating, that sort of thing. They moved out, left most of their furniture behind, he said. Packed into a big RV one day and just drove off.

He still remembered their names.
John and Lucy Madson.