There’s a quaint, two-story house at the end of a long, dusty road. The front yard is perfectly manicured, with a lush carpet of lawn with nary a dandelion to be found. A series of tall, flowering trees lines the perimeter. The front door of the house is white, and the shutters are blue. A shiny brass knocker hangs on the door, just waiting for a visitor to go rat-a-tat-tat and be invited inside — perhaps for a friendly afternoon chat accompanied by cookies and milk.
There’s even a folded newspaper lying on the porch, as if to complete this idyllic picture.
Yes, it’s a beautiful home — a perfect home. It’s the ideal place for newlyweds to put down roots, to raise a family. I know this home well, because it’s mine. And I’m happy here.
Well, I was happy here. But that was before I came home early one afternoon and found my wife in bed with the milkman. I discovered then why she kept ordering the stuff, even though she knew I was lactose-intolerant.
Instead of being sorry, she said she was glad I’d found out. She said our love had run well past its expiration date (a pun intended for the milkman’s benefit, I’m sure). She also said she hated me for making her live in this boring country hellhole when she’d had an exciting life in the city. She despised the house, the lawn, the trees, the shiny brass door knocker — all of it. She especially hated the long, dusty road, which she said was too rough to drive on and always left her car dirty.
“In fact,” she said, “this day has been coming for a long time. I want a divorce.”
A dream can shatter in a matter of moments, and in that particular moment my entire life came crumbling apart. That beautiful home became an impenetrable prison (albeit one with a brass door knocker and plenty of fresh milk).
I live here alone, now. My wife and kids are gone. Where there was once the patter of little feet on the carpeted hallway, there’s now only stillness, and silence. The lawn is overgrown, and the trees are all gnarled. There’s no longer a newspaper on the front porch, but only empty, overturned milk containers. Even the brass door knocker has tarnished, from nonuse. Nobody comes out to visit me anymore.
I’m trying to sell the place, but so far, no interest. Apparently, only a moron would buy such an isolated parcel 17 miles down a bumpy, unpaved road. We don’t even get cable out here.
I’d love to throttle the agent that sold me this dump. The jerk.
No wonder my wife left me. I had assumed vacuuming a two-story home each day would give her plenty to do, but I guess it didn’t quite replicate the excitement the city life offered. I’d even bought her a Dyson for our anniversary, but that only seemed to upset her.
This wasn’t how life was supposed to be. I once envisioned warm weekend days puttering in the garden, and long summer evenings sitting on the porch, counting the stars.
But the problem with counting the stars, I’ve come to discover, is that it’s mind-numbingly boring. I miss streaming Netflix, and I’m sure my wife did, too. We used to watch it all the time when we were newlyweds in the city.
Why in the world did I buy this miserable shithole? It’s so boring out here. I’m desperate for some sort of human contact. More and more I’m starting to see my wife’s point of view, and I don’t blame her for dumping my ass. If the milkman were to come, I’d probably sleep with him, too. Then at least I’d have someone to talk to.
I hate this house. I hate the trees, the lawn, the brass door knocker — all of it.
But most of all, I hate my life. I have nothing to live for anymore. Nothing.
Unless I can get rid of this albatross and restart my life, I don’t think I’m long for this world. I’m so lonely out here in this isolated country dump.
Maybe I can hang myself from one of the tall trees lining the perimeter. A swaying corpse might be the perfect touch to complete this idyllic picture.