I Smile Like I Used ToMature

If only I could; because flowers are made for picking, and I knew this all to well. And only I had the eyes to see Aster's fall. [based on a true story;]


Because flowers are made for dying, made for plucking, made for killing.

And I know this all too well, for this is my job. I don't garden, because that is a different job, where  flowers are not killed but instead are given life; my job is to kill flowers, for their beauty, before they have had a chance to live.

(But weeds, I think, sometimes. Weeds have a home, too. Weeds have a place where they, too, are nurtured and encouraged, where they are needed and wanted. Deep down, I think that it is a waste, a damn fine waste… and then I hazard a chance to wonder if I am even talking about botany, anymore. Or if I ever were.)

I kill the flowers, and I freeze them. I freeze them and I keep them and I arrange them, and -- and they are beautiful. But dead. And, once in a while, I wish my best friend had… Had any name other than the one he has. Any. Because Aster is a flower; and in reality, he is: beautiful and bright, and breathtaking.

Because he is breaking, being crushed, and slowly dying.

It shatters my heart to see it, and I feel like crying, like shedding tears, as I never have for any other flower. (I wonder if the flowers cry, when their mates are taken… I wonder if flowers even remember.)

Every day, I watch him walk in front of my shop, and I think of wailing. It wasn't your fault, I think of saying to him, and something about it not being his fault - every time, a different scenario; every time, another reason. But of course, I never breathe a word.

Because he wouldn't want you to. He thinks that I still have a choice, that I still have a chance. And maybe he's right, maybe I do - still have a chance, that is. Maybe he'll still turn around and laugh with me, still turn around and smile at me, and stop walking away.

But he has a penchant for walking away, for turning his back and stomping on the flowers that he does not look down to see. And he does not hear their anguished cries, does not see their life's blood pour out even as he crushes their frail petals.

I know how to treat flowers: gently and firmly, cut them to make them grow. It is difficult, more difficult then people believe, and Idon't think that anyone else can manage it. Because most of all, flowers like Aster require love and lots of weeding, lots of protecting.

And I think that even though I can protect him all I want, he can't find the love that  he needs. He can't find what he needs, and he is dying, dying of thirst in a parched land where the earth is cracked and bitter, and dust flies in his eyes and blinds him, flies in his mouth and chokes him, flies in his ears and deafens him -- and he can't sense anything around him, can't see how badly I hurt and how badly I want to save him.

He's dying.

The End

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