Since his mother was often ill, he rarely saw her when she wasn’t submerged in the murky depths of a medicated, muddy fog. She was lovely to look at, even in her diminished state. And she was lovely to hear, even when her voice was little more than a whisper. He loved her. As he grew into a teenager, though, when we’re at the point where our story begins, he came to see her somewhat pitifully; shut away behind her bedroom door, or away at hospital. When he thought of her during the day he saw her bathrobe, pink and smelling of fabric softener. She was always reclined and reading one of her literary journals or magazines. She could not go on the hikes with her husband and son because her heart was her enemy. It fought her villainously.