Some glistening flowers and alcohol.
The sun had long since set, and I was spending Saturday night as usual; dark thoughts whirling about my head, coming in a frenzied storm. I couldn’t stop thinking. My mind was racing. I’ll blame it on the alcohol, doing what it does best. Nothing makes you think more than a glass of whiskey, especially when you’re vulnerable.
Ice hits my lip, and I call for another round. I don’t know what keeps me going for more; then again, I don’t care to. I’m just trying to fill the void that’s deep down inside of me, I suppose. For the past half year, I’ve been trying to fill this void. It’s a slow process, but it has to work eventually, I hope so.
I look at my surroundings, a vain attempt to escape the voices in my head. A new experience, as my lips rarely leave the rim of the glass. I notice two lovers sitting at the round table behind me. I’m fascinated; love is a rare sighting for me. Their laughter, the grins at the private jokes they share, ensconced in a world of their own. If I had that, would that make me happy? The void in my chest needs filling, but with what I know not. Yet, the lovers were hardly the most interesting sight; softly illuminated in the red glow of the bar, a vase of poppies.
I could feel the pulse of life emanating from the delicate flowers. What have they seen? What stories might they have to tell? The lovers, the heartbroken, the wanderers seeking solace in intoxication; the flowers have seen it all.
The bar is nearly empty when I am aroused from my drunken stupor. My only company is the town drunk; notorious for drowning his sorrows in a tankard. I’m paying my tab, ready to leave, when something strange happens. Is it the alcohol? The poppies…point at me. It must be the alcohol working; no sane person would say that flower petals pointed at him. Is it a sign? I must know. The lovers have long since left; I join the flowers at their table. I drink in their image; the deliciously red petals, the yellow glow of their centers. I recall Morpheus, whose symbol happened to be the very same as the flowers in front of me. I live in my imagination, much the way he did. Memories flood back: sunny days spent talking to the trees and flowers in the park; an upset mother. Why can’t you behave like a normal child; the glare of light from the psychiatrist’s glasses.
I’m now certain that the flowers have something to say to me. I could feel it in my bones. The pause is merely to search for the right thing to say. I could feel the flowers, readying themselves to speak. I lean in closer, intent to hear their words.
“We see you here very often. We’ve seen the sadness in your eyes, and we can feel the shifting atmosphere when you walk in through those doors. We don’t like seeing you this way. We want you to be as happy as the beautiful couple that made us smile; made you smile. We ponder, every day, what is making you feel this way? We have questions for you, don’t interrupt us, and listen well. Are you sad? Are you lonely? Are you afraid? Are you…” A plethora of different and abundant questions.
The questions stopped. What curious little flowers. I could feel some concern in their voices, and it fascinated me. The little red flowers, they care about me. I must answer them truthfully now; for one to care about me, it is a rare thing. I owe them my honesty.
“There are some people in my life. I stay alone because I don’t feel that anyone enjoys my presence; since childhood, solidarity has become familiar to me. I have family, but they don’t care about me. I’m the outsider to them, the anomaly. Many bad things have happened to me… I’ve had my heart shattered before my eyes. Yet, I’ve only ever been classified as insane. I never lost the person I loved; I’ve never been loved before; feelings and emotions are nothing to none nowadays. I’m tired of fucking emotionless women, seeking their pleasure in my lost and abused soul. If you can do anything to help me, please, help me. I’m hanging by a thread, on a small thin wire with both ends on fire. I have nothing to lose. I’m afraid I might do something I regret…”
I watch shock bloom in the petals of the poppies. I feel regret curl in my chest… my words must have been too much to absorb.
Nobody is here. The barkeep just told me to leave, not for the first time. I’m still waiting for the flowers to answer. A long pause, they only have one thing to say. “Be sound, only you can help yourself”
Be sound? What the hell is that supposed to mean? My insides seem to collapse on themselves, the space filled with disappointment and frustration. I thought the flowers were the answers to all my troubles. I was wrong.
I’m leaving the bar now. I picture a sober re-entry to this solitary confinement of a public place, and leave with great lost hope embracing me. I believed in the flowers, I trusted them. But yet again, everything and everyone disappoints me.
That’s it for now, sorry. I’ve never been good at happy endings. Even the flowers couldn’t help me. Who can?