Writing Prompt August 15th
You went to a flower market, and you write to a friend about this positive/negative experience. Why you got there, the flowers sold, the market square, the sellers, what you bought. Draw a living picture. Good luck
You ounce spoke of your love for flowers. Your outfits are oft scrolled with the cool and floral patterns, etching out the corners, proclaiming your femininity.
As I mentioned in my previous letter, my mother’s rough tumble down the stairs has left her hospitalized for at least another week. The MRI scans and so on render her distressed. In aims to console her I have relegated myself to the usual repertoire of supportive activities; hold her hand while she sleeps, declare everything will be fine, and this morning’s trip to the flower shop adjacent to the hospital. Aren’t I a most dutiful son?
The flower shop’s exterior was drab. The wire-shelves on the outside were empty, their occupants indoors, befit this late autumn chill. As I stepped inside the door’s chime clanged away and was then muffled by the wind slamming the door shut behind me. I scraped my heel across the coarse, chestnut doormat and surveyed the insides. It was this moment that I was reminded of you and your outfits.
I was also seized by a long-in-waiting regret. The inevitable realization that I should have bought & brought you flowers while you were here.. I had come for my mother, but in a way, I had came for you as well.
A round-faced and simple-smiled woman hailed me from behind the counter, “Hello, welcome.” Her home-made name-tag read “Mary.”
She looked busy, matching the noisiness of the interior where all matters of house-plants and flowers cramped the shelves and space. I wondered, with a pang of pity, whether the density was indicative of a lack of business. I squashed the feeling and strolled through to peer over the counter at her workbench, “Looking for flowers for my mother, anything will do, about 20$ worth.”
With a flash of her scissors she excised the last thorn from a row of roses she must have been readying. “Is she in the hospital?” she inquired. I nodded and pointed to the large aluminum buckets filled of roses and tulips that rowed the wall next to the counter. “Those will do,” I said.
She proceeded to act more a psychologist than florist.
I suppose she had taken a kind of charge onto herself. The consolers came here to buy smiles for their loved ones. Flowers as tokens of affection that are meant to represent ‘I care’.
But who was there to console the consolers? For certainly we are bereaved as well, but simply affect an exterior strength. So her happiness comes from checking on others as much as flowers. It’s no surprise that gardeners tend to people as much as their vegetation with a similar gentleness.
This too, reminded me of you.
We spoke on as she trimmed, arranged and bundled the flowers together. I can only assume she sensed my keen observation, and my impenetrable somberness. Her continued discourse must have been her method for fending nervousness. In my minds eye my finger had already rose to her two-lips to motion silence. I wished only to watch her hands work the flowers, rather than her mouth work the air.
It is difficult to witness the workings of a hand skill. Such things require a certain level of artistry and flourish not easily found. I still recall the seductive way you circled and drew spilled droplets on the coffee-shop tables. Making calligraphy of the results my shaky hands wrought as I set our teas down with clamor.
My mother adored the flowers.
I noticed that even in my grief I’m distracted and invaded by adoration for you.
I guess this was all a long-winded way to say how much I miss you.
Don’t fret, you know I will never ask you to come back. I know the wind has taken you there, and it will be good for your dreams.