I stare out the window. I want to throw the phone out the window. But this phone is expensive. This florist I am on the phone with is expensive, and their prices would be fine if they were a good florist, but they just screwed up my order.
Now I’m calling them at the edge of a cliff. I want to cry, but the rage plugs the possibility.
This was an important order. An order I thought I sent from my apartment in Brooklyn to home, Toronto. To my mother.
“Because you missed my delivery, I missed my mother’s birthday!”
They tell me it should have been delivered, but my father confirms for me in a text that the bouquet never came.
“Please don’t tell me what should have happened, Sir. You screwed up.”
Heaven Scent 06 was a beautiful collection of puffy pink roses in a green pot with a few dark palms. A cheerful collection of something that looked cherry-flavored and soft.
“Happy birthday, Mom. Hope you have a great day. XOXOXO”
How are they apologizing?
How are they offering me a voucher?
Don’t they understand that this cannot be undone?
How I wanted her to see those “XOs”.
How I pictured her reading the card, feeling great about our relationship.
How she was validated.
How her daughter really cared for her, even from far away.
Last time coming back to the city from home, the airline stewardess reminded me of my mother. She touched everyone’s shoulder as she poured their drink. The angle the glass was passed off, the number of ice cubes, the lines her lipstick cast over her smiling mouth – all telling of a performer for the affection and the comforts of the world. My mother the stewardess making everyone feel at home in the upright position. A statue of what someone caring was supposed to look like. A living template. Here is how to be a woman. If you fall out of this line, I may judge you. And when she handed me my pretzels, and I declined, I felt that sting. Her penciled eyebrows raising. Putting the pretzels back into her neat pouch and never looking at me again, for the rest of the hour in the air.
The pain is still large after the phone call.
Now my roommate is home and having sex in the room next to mine, and the walls are thin and the book that I am reading is very good.
I can’t ignore the outside influences for too much longer. I must go outside. To reach inside, forever, towards my own thousand desires, is to create nothing.
I can’t understand why my body betrays me. Or why this florist must, as well. The Moon is full today. There is a snow storm. Your bed is the only world, though you live in New York. You are supposed to get out of your bed and into the real one that is held up by the idea that a city can cure you. Underneath the snow, there is ice. He texts: be careful.
Once a guy had to pry my legs apart, when I thought I was into it. This passion without a bridge to the outside is probably why I can only ever come alone.
- Andrea Grassi