Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Purple Flowers

"You don't have to tell me this, you know. Really."

"So I went there the next summer. Not quite a year after. The forest was so green. The air smelled so rich. There were birds flitting around in the treetops. But I don't know what kind they were. A pretty spot. I can't deny that."

"Are you okay?"

"He liked to go there. I guess I understand why. But he never talked about it. What he was doing there. I always thought it was an escape. To recharge, you know? To unwind. Meditate. He talked so little about things. I thought he had his own way of dealing with things bothering him. He had his own way for a lot of things."

"That's where...."

"I wish they found him sooner. He had to have considered that, didn't he? It was almost as if he didn't want to be found. There's animals up there. Insects. They were pretty hard on him. I only saw one of the pictures the police took. And only for one second. I still can't get it out of my head. I know once you're dead, it doesn't matter. But still."

"I'm sorry."

"So I was standing there thinking about what he did, and I saw this little purple flower growing on the exact same spot. Weird, you know? Like it was marking the place where he pulled the trigger. And I thought about how he was part of that flower. Part of his nutrients, for lack of better term. And those animals who couldn't help but scavenge from him. It's their nature. He was in their bones, running around again."

"I think he would have liked that."

"But who am I to complain, really? People have a right to live. Or not. I'm not the one who gets to decide. But do you know what does stick with me? How so many things can never, never be undone. I think about that a lot. We don't realize it the way we should. We think things will smooth out, go back, get better, just fix themselves again. But they don't. What's done is done."

"True. We can only do what we can do. But sometimes that's a lot."

"So all these things happen to us, and we limp along, the walking wounded, getting a little worse with each passing day. If you get to the end with just a couple of fractures and a case of arthritis, you're lucky as hell. I, on the other hand, probably have a leg blown off and a prosthetic arm by now."

"But no hikes to the forest, right?"

"Nope. I guess I don't mind hopping and flopping around for a while longer."


Wild Rose said...

Beautiful story Jason and i guess sometimes we want to hold on to memories so bad that we believe certain things are attached to the spirits of the loved and close ones like flowers, birds and other living things. Mine i believe is birds because they do carry certain spirits to the living :)

the walking man said...

I ain't swallowing the shotgun yet and I am more broken and put back together than most my age. I would rather stick it out and fight for the clean air for the fowl to fly in and the unsullied soil for the flowers to wildly rise. But I sure as hell understand why someone would take "The Poets Option."

Guy right behind me lost his wife after 60 years to cancer. They did everything together include start a business, ride motorcycles and love. 3 months later he put a bullet through his brain. I understand that.

2007 out of 9 funerals I attended 6 were self inflicted death. Yeah I have waked that mountain trail and looked for the body of justification.

Bebo said...

The Old Ones used to go to the forest and sit and wait for death. Seems like more of us get fed up or too broken inside to fix and go out looking for it.

I do like that the character's body was returned to nature... earth to earth, etc.

Felicity Grace Terry said...

How beautiful, very moving I thought.

Anonymous said...

I want to like this, as I like so much of your work. The notion you convey--that people can live on through the cycle of nature--is to some extent comforting. I love how you convey a story in so few words.

Nonetheless, the main voice just strikes me It's a flatness (numbness? acceptance? where is the anger? the ache?) that for whatever reason feels at odds with the content of the story. It bothers me enough that I can't just walk away.

Would you be so kind as to explain why you wrote the main voice the way you did? What was the moment you were trying to convey?

I know you have no obligation to explain your work, but I want to understand.

I'm sorry... I know that if I can't say anything nice, I shouldn't say anything at all. I'm sorry...

K.Lawson Gilbert said...

My favorite part is where the character is thnking about the dead man's body adding nutrients to the soil, or adding fat to and building up the bones of a foraging animal.

The photo is the perfect pairing. Was it the prompt? Or did you write the story first and found this to go with it?

I like this so much.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

I love how you add little bits and pieces of information as you go along. I never truly know everything until the end. The surprise is fun. :)

Anonymous said...

Wild Rose, do we ever really let go? Probably not. We can tolerate loss, or not dwell on it, or reach an equilibrium, but it never disappears completely. Maybe this is one way of holding on.

Walking Man, I thought that you would identify with our warrior here. I trust you've had plenty of chances to take another route, but that is not your road. Nevertheless, I'm sorry so much death and despair is around you.

Bebo, it's not a bad choice of place, really. The peace and the return to nature's bosom.

Petty, very much appreciated. :)

Anon, if I don't fall short from time to time, then I'm not challenging myself enough. (Just so sucking doesn't become a common occurence, LOL!) Pure dialogue is one of the hardest forms there is, I think. It's effect is heavily shaped by what you bring with you, since there are no narrative signals to lead you to a certain tone/body language/backstory. ~Anyway, you asked about my view of the scene. I saw it as a person who has gotten a bit lost in introspection as he/she is speaking. The person has slipped into a stream of consciousness, a pouring of thought. There is pain (which I tried to show in the listener's discomfort), but the anger and wild storm of emotions has passed some time ago, leaving just sadness and questions. The listener hangs back, a bit unnerved. He/she doesn't know if the speaker is going to spiral down into a much sharper display.

Kaye, I took the photo a couple of weeks ago up in the mountains. I was very pleased with how it came out. This piece was prompted by the photo. It was also a subject flitting around in my mind after seeing a movie that got under my skin.

Oddyoddyo13, the biggest trick is keeping the reader reeled in from the first sentence. I'm sure I don't always achieve that, but I do try. :)

Bhaswati said...

A different kind of work from you; with a darker, raw shade. Not lacking in intensity or pathos though.

Erratic Thoughts said...

I like that shade of purple...

I really appreciate the way you surprise me with your work everytime.There is always something different n new to it, and this was no exception!

I liked the way the first person unkowingly ignores what the listener fills in between when he/she is taking a breath to launch into his/her next sentence.And the listener patiently continues to listen.

Sure, something's cannot be undone.We can either chose to see it differently or forget those memories as a blur in the past.
I really liked the agony in the conversation!

Great piece :)

lbc flower delivery said...

What a cute flower is that? I like it. Thanks for sharing this one but can you add more information about this. Just quite interested. keep posting!