Here is another portion of the book I’m writing, Foolish Old Man.
The elevator announcing my arrival, waking me from my moments lost in a day dream. The doors open, swiping that dream away! I step out of the elevator into a stark, overly-bright lobby. The lights shocking my sight.
As I regain my focus, the first thing I notice are the flowers on the center coffee table. They look a little sad today. The petals are drooping and each one is taking its individual leap onto the table.
Even though, one-by-one they are wilting away, the familiar scent still hits me as soon as the doors open.
The sweet-smelling purple flowers fill the room with life, if only for a moment.
Realizing that I just slipped into another daydream, embarrassed, I look around to see if anyone saw me. the only person I see is Kirk. With his back to the elevator, he seems to sense that I’m here…
“those are Violets you smell…” he said “I ought to know! I’ve trimmed them this morning as I have done for forty-seven seasons!” he continued as-matter-of-factly.
“Hi Kirk! I…” I squeezed in, but he just continued anyway…
“Forty-seven springs of bloom did I tender!” He pauses as if all of a sudden lost in his own thoughts. “Even in Nam I grew them! I picked them every morning and placed them on the net of my helmet…”
Wait a second! He’s not talking to me! he’s just recounting his memories. Re-living the moments that the scent of the violets brings.
“Nope! Nam couldn’t kill that…” He continues
Now Kirk seems to pause for a second and that causes me to wonder, “they could not kill his plants or his spirit?” That moment lasted for a few minutes and then all of a sudden a happy moment seems to sneak in. A slim smile graces his somber face as if a water leak just sprung thru a crack in the solid stone wall…
“We even have Violets at my oldest’s wedding!” he joyfully shares.
Wow, look at the passion he speaks with! He talks as if the moment was real – Happening right now! Love the way his eyes are lighting up as he talks.
I get so excited for Kirk and sit down just to be with him. I get filled with joy just staring at his eyes lit up with pride.
“Every Spring my daughters wake up to the sweet scent of violets in our home.”
He tilts his head and looks up into the air in the corner of the ceiling.
I also join him in his gaze & in his wondering. In my wanderings I see an image of his happy daughters enters my head & I smile. They seem so sad & bitter now that I can’t imagine how happy they must have been as a family.
“I don’t know why,” Kirk finally adds. “but slowly the weight of the years and the slipping of the months seem to make the sweet scent just fade away.”
“The Violets just seemed to be around less and less till one day… ” Kirk now stopped! I waited, but the pause just lingered.
“…till one day what, Kirk? what happened?” I implored to know. He never reveals any bits about his past, but when a moment like this slip out, well I am anxious to know.
My dear, sweet Betty…
Kirk stopped all together now. In a flash, the trip down memory lane ended and the lights seem to go out. He just slumped forward in his chair as if someone flipped a switch.
Kirk reverted back to being a resident at the nursing home. The only thing running now is the drool down his chin.
So sad to see them just stop like that. But even sadder is that something caused them to shutdown those memories. The memories seemed deeply repressed, deep down inside, almost as a way to not hurt any longer.
I grab a rag & wipe the drool off his face & realized how long I’ve been sitting here. I better get to Mercy. She’s been waiting for me & now I am late.