FOUR DOZEN ROSES
One of my friends works at a floral warehouse, so before he visited last weekend, I asked him if he could, perhaps, bother to bring me some flowers.
"Something between $15 and $20," I said. "But pick whatever you want. Surprise me."
He surpassed both of those requests; when he opened the two boxes on my kitchen table, I saw there were two dozen yellow roses, two dozen red roses, some lily grass, some ferns and other greenery, bunches of daisies, a few sunflowers, and several other things I still have the inability to pronounce.
So, after pruning and snipping and cleaning and plucking, flowers were placed in Mason jars. My friend shaped three of the bouquets as I watched, talking of work and books. Eventually, I crushed an aspirin too, tossing the pieces into a vase I soon filled with daisies. We sat around the table for a few hours, talking, fussing with the flowers.
"I think I'm going to move this to the other room, if you don't mind," he said, picking up one of the enormous, spring-colored bouquets. "It's starting to look like a funeral parlor in here."
We swept the trimmings from the floor and said "Goodnight," but the arrangements' scent--fresh and light and heavenly--drifted about the apartment and lulled me to sleep.
In the morning, I moved all of the flowers back to the kitchen, to the table, to the light. That glorious, shining light. True, I staged them there, on my table. But I wanted to drink in their fragile beauty because I knew, soon enough, that they would wilt. Fade. Decay.
Now, a week later, only the daisies and the red roses remain. (Most of the flowers were leftovers from Valentine's Day, so they were already a few weeks old when brought to my apartment.) I've taken the daisies to work where, during slow moments of the day, I pick at the dying petals and hope they'll make it one more day. Just one more.
Fresh Flowers Direct, located in Evansville.