After the speeches, each from the four sisters my mother had, a dull sermon from the priest, eye bleeding Bible ridden quote eulogy, three regretful phrases I had to say and a slow moving grandma neighbour forgetting where she was and suddenly apologising in mid sermon about how she was late for her bridge game and had to do her groceries too, the whole thing was dead, as my mother was. Silence fell at last. (Mom, you would have loved this sermon, it was so…appropriate and meaningless and proper.)
I started walking, no, walk- running to the other side of the room because I couldn’t let this woman slip away without her telling me the secret of her presence, so I got there super fast, speed of my panties are on fire, and when the vision got clearer, the features closer, like in a blurry picture that suddenly focuses at last, I stopped and felt completely silent,in surprise, in reality, this white haired girl looked just like me, perhaps a bit older but she was, by all means, at least my sister from my mother’s side, something strange and otherworldly, a better daughter than I could have ever made: her face was covered in tears.
She looked straight through me with those cold, green eyes and moved on and that was it. She dropped the flower in crass neglect, I took that flower and hid it in my hand, almost deformed it in my sweat drenched palm.
Someone else’s discarded melancholia, others ever present scar. This one had the purple light of love shining through, the moment when I saw, the moment I had my eyes opened for one of those special flickers that shows you the magic element in the mundane, and everything else is painted black, everything else except for this purple peony. OK ?
And this is how I decided to collect plastic flowers.
It was morbid and gratifying,I would normally eye the flower that had an unique appeal such as, most held, most wetted by tears, mostly the most discarded and destroyed.
I always had a thing for the underdog and now this translated in always having a thing for the “under-plastic-flower”.
At one of these weekend “olympiades” to which I was competing alone I met one of the persons who made me reconsider the collecting of nostalgia with actually confronting of nostalgia, even if it implied bashing my head against a door and I was in denial of pain at the time.