August 22, 2011
Gracie stands at the window, arms akimbo, and looks through her reflection to the front lawn. In her transparent body, grass sprouts where her heart should be. It’s patchy. Choked with weeds. Shifting her gaze down closer to the house, she peers through her belly. The flowerbeds are parched and the perennials—which should be thriving, having had years to establish themselves—appear dead. She can offer them less help each year. She eyes their collective enemy: sturdy new weeds, waiting to spring up and strangle what little life remained in her beloved, struggling plants. She narrows her eyes—Just see what’s in store for you this morning, you little thugs. I don’t care how much pollen you shoot at me, I’ll get rid of you!—then glances up at the early morning sky. It hangs gloomy, defeated by the sixty-watt lamps in the living room behind her.
The huge pane of glass also reflects much of her home’s interior. This stretches from the house in ghostly array. The “new” sofa, bought a year ago when Errol retired, floats along the driveway to her left.