On Friday, I like to take an ordinary photo of something I’ve seen during the week and create a bit of flash fiction. I call it 1,000 words worth, because, you know, a picture is worth…. For more information, click here.
I remember the day I moved into my apartment. I stepped onto the tiny balcony and scoffed inside. The tenant tried to sell the early morning light to me, as if the L-train platform and gaggle of commuters were visible. I could smell hot steel against the electric rail mixed with sweat as people ran to the train in the 80° mist. "Beautiful," I said. "I'll buy a patio tomato." I had to say something positive. And I did like to garden. I still reeled from what happend with Kyle. I had to get away from the home we shared, the garden and all. I did love that garden. Fresh heirloom tomatoes every summer. The new owners got a raised bed tilled and and a bit with everything I loved, fertilized with fresh bonemeal. I especially missed my flowers: foxglove, alias, sweetpeas, lily-of-the-valley under the lilac. That was ten years ago. I got that patio tomato, some basil, and a hibiscus that I brought in for the winter. I added a flower box with foxglove and delphinias and a potted clematis that twisted around the railing. Before long, I replaced Kyle with Peter and his parrot. It's amazing what you can make blend into the background noise of life. Peter was an extroverted, a real people-person, so before long we began exchanging miniaturized garden party BBQs with neighbors. A kind of play-date, but no kids. I detest kids. A hibachi on the balcony and a capresse salad made with fresh-picked ingredients. The flowers almost hid the view, and their perfume layered over the pungent city. The sound of the L-train blended into the background. I told people it was like living on the seashore, only no incessant seaweed smell or salt on everything. Even the parrot was almost like white noise. Until it died. Peter, lovely Peter, turned to me for conversation. Constant conversation. It wasn't enough that I listened. He needed answers. Now he's gone too. Looking back, Kyle eased my way into this future. I'm left yearning for less background noise and more space. A bigger garden. More soil to sink my hands into, turn over, and make something grow. Maybe this time, I'll plant belladonna monks hood, along with my favorites. You know what they say, 'variety is the spice of life.'