Where We Always Return

By the time I made the drive up north to my Grandfather’s house, it had already been cleared out. They had already sold most of the furniture and his articles of value had been moved to my Grandmother’s home across town. My uncles said they found cans of food stockpiled in his cupboards, some of which had been expired for more than a decade. They said that the cans were bloated and swollen and ready to burst. I’ve heard that people who lived through the Great Depression did things like that. He had come from a family of farmers in Oklahoma that had fled to California during the Dust Bowl. His flannels still hung neatly in the closet and the shed behind the house still had some extension cords rolled in tightly wound figure eights, but mostly everything was gone. In his garden, the last of the season’s tomatoes still hung from limp vines through the wires of the tomato cages, the deep red fruit rotting and about to burst.

All photos by Shaun Black, courtesy of Office Hours, Los Angeles