I try not to listen, and when I can't
Jeff Riley generally ignores his year-old son Billy during weekend visits, stocking up on toys to distract the child so that he can sip gin and tonics and plot a reconciliation with Linda. She has not yet filed for divorce, though they are separated. Two months ago at Easter, his wife moved out, abandoning their split-level cedar home in the hilly terrain of southeast Ohio. At first she asked Jeff to leave, but they argued, fiercely, he now recalls, although most of that savage night is blotted out like light, like the neighbors' view of the patio-deck upon which Billy fiddles with an inventory of Fisher-Price.
Pine windbreaks line the property. Linda's unclaimed pots of hanging plants on posts of the deck serve as a leaf-curtain, a perfect place to drink and think.