Susan Fekete | Longreads | March 2018 | 13 minutes (3,541 words)

I lived in Atlanta for six years after college. I only went back to St. Pete twice in that time, and both times I stayed with my aunt Linda.

Mom would make excuses about not having cleaned the house, not having done laundry, and therefore not having clean sheets on my bed. It made me sad, a little, because I knew they were lies. I knew her house was full.

Full — floor to ceiling, windows to walls — of stuff. Her mass of belongings included objects de art, trinkets, furniture, memorabilia, books, magazines, journals. And many cats, especially ones with extra toes. Although no one was sure anymore how many of those — or of anything else for that matter — she had.

When I visited, she came over to my aunt’s house, and we hugged and…

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