It all started innocently enough: I was struggling to fit an oversize bag of garbage down the chute in my condo building when I noticed a bouquet of a dozen, long stem red roses, still in their original packaging, sitting on floor beside the chute.
My immediate reaction was one of intense curiosity. Whose roses were these? And why had they thrown them away? Perhaps there had been a lover’s quarrel? (Red, of course, being the universal colour of love). I needed more information.
I opened the flap of the packaging and found that no note had been included. This only added to my intrigue. Had the recipient removed the note prior to disposing with the flowers? And if so, why? Or maybe there had never been a note at all. Maybe this was a secret-admirer type situation. Or a stalking one.
I briefly considered taking theses roses myself- rescuing them from the metal clutches of certain death and bringing them back to my apartment where they could live a happy (albeit brief) life on my coffee table beside all of my US Weeklys and old Wal-Mart candles. But ultimately, I decided against it.
Like the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, these roses seemed too good to be true. What if I took them and it opened up a Pandora’s box of heartache and unhappiness?
I was reminded of a conversation I’d had with a friend recently, where she told me about a plant she had agreed to inherit from a woman at work who was leaving. “You better make sure you think long and hard about that decision,” I told her. “Like what are the circumstances of her departure, for one thing? What if she was miserable and hated her life? Do you really want to bring a plant into your office that had to live with that woman’s unhappiness for years?”
Eventually, I was satisfied when my friend assured me that the woman was, in fact, retiring after a very happy and successful 30 year career, and planned to travel the world with her husband – and thus was in need of a good home for the plant.
I could get no similar comfort, however, with these roses. Whatever the circumstances surrounding their disposal, it didn’t seem positive. And I didn’t want any of that bad energy messing up my apartment chi.
And so I left the roses untouched, and instead focused on solving the mystery of who left them there in the first place.
Everyone I encountered in my building became a suspect. Could it have been the punk-rock clad university student sharing an elevator with me? Judging from her heavy eyeliner and spiked backpack, she seemed no stranger to misery. Or perhaps it was the middle-aged man, picking up his Amazon package from the concierge. His eyes held a profound sense of sadness.
There was no way of knowing for sure.
The whole thing began to depress me, and I began wracking my brain for other, less distressing explanations. Maybe there had been no lover’s quarrel at all, I thought. Maybe the recipient was simply allergic to roses.
This seemed plausible. I once received lilies from an ex-boyfriend and had to throw them away due to my severe allergies. I tried to live with it, but in the end, I just couldn’t stand it.
A metaphor, you might say, for how the relationship itself eventually became.
Unfortunately, a quick google search confirmed that roses are among the least common of all allergies. Foiled again.
I have since resigned myself to the fact that I may never get the answers I’m looking for… and just like that damn movie Inception, I may never fully understand what went on that day. Whatever the case, I hope that the recipient of those fateful roses has since found peace. And to the person who gave them in the first place: I’m rooting for you, buddy.