Kneeling, neck-deep in the refrigerator, white light suffusing her face, she tosses his mother’s food into a black garbage bag beside her. He stands at the Formica countertop, watching her, wrapping dishes and utensils in newspaper. The house is so quiet. All the radios and televisions are gone. Most of the rooms are so barren they echo.

I count six bottles of mustard, Renee says. And butter. Eight sticks in here, and four boxes in the freezer. Four boxes. She lived by herself. Did she put butter in everything?

Renee wears elbow-length yellow rubber gloves, constantly swipes strands of hair away from her face. Blows at them, angrily, as if they were mosquitoes, wasps.

People on couch
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