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A Gas Station Rose

Fox Fodder Flowers

A Gas Station Rose

Sun Mar 10 2024
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A Gas Station Rose 

Sometimes the business of flowers gets in my hair. I don’t mean in the good way, like when I find a twig has hitched a ride up there and know it was definitely there for my midtown lunch meeting--that I’ve always kind of liked. No, I mean in my hair in the more vexed sense, in the way that it makes it hard to imagine enjoying one’s imagination.

Even with imagination, driving away pre-dawn from your sleeping children is its own particular kind of awful. If you turn into the sense of fun and freedom, you’ll feel rotten about it later when you read a message about a rash. But if you aren't letting loose with a silly song or quietly loving the alone time, you’ll feel pretty rotten, too.

So anyway, I had neither Cher nor silence when I pulled into the Sunoco. It was December and numbers had my brain, emanating to my ears, monotone from my phone. Whether it was hours for installs or dates of holiday parties or year-end actuals or 12-month projections, I can’t say for sure.

Shitballs, that is beautiful.

I’m sure I said that.

The reaction from the other side of the call made that clear.

Sure, I could have explained myself and tried to describe the rose climbing up the chain link fence across from the pump, its perfect shade of peachy hot pink, the color that glows just for a moment right after the sun has gone down. But outbursts are rarely bettered by explanation and I was having a flower moment and those should never be talked away.

When I got back to the car I put the clipped bloom in an old coffee cup with a bit of water, the clippers in the cup holder next to it. I picked up my phone from the passenger's seat. It was still talking.

Does that makes sense to you, it asked

The day had woken up and the sun was out now. It was still cold but in the sunshine everything seems possible.

Yes, I said, it all makes perfect sense.

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