The flowers in the seventh-floor lobby are looking a little sad today. They are drooping and are starting to fall onto the table. The heart-shaped leaves are now a deeper shade of purple & look as if they will wilt away any moment now.
But that flirty scent still comes. It entices me and pulls me out of that elevator.
The sweet-smell fill the room with its fragrance & life. If only for a moment.
Stepping into the lobby, the only person I see is Kirk. With his back to the elevator, he seems to sense that its me…
“those are Violets you smell…” he said “I ought to know! I’ve trimmed them this morning ...” he continued as-matter-of-factly.
“Hi Kirk! I….” I squeezed in, but only to be cut off as he just continued…
“Forty-seven springs of bloom did I tender!” He pauses as if all of a sudden lost in his own thoughts. “Even in Nam I grew them! I picked them every morning from the pot and placed them on the net of my helmet…”
Wait a second! He’s not talking to me! he’s just recounting his memories. Re-living the moments that the scent of the violets brings.
“Nope! Nam couldn’t kill that…”
Now Kirk seems to pause for a second and I drift off to wonder, “they could not kill what? his plants or his spirit?”
That moment lasted for a few minutes and then all of a sudden, a happy moment seems to sneak in. A slim smile graces his somber face as if a water leak just sprung thru and caused a crack in the solid stone wall…
“We even had Violets at my oldest’s wedding!” he joyfully shares. “Every Spring my daughters used to wake up to the sweet scent of violets in our home. Every room was filed with color and clippings of the day."
"I don’t know why, but Violets just seemed to be around less and lesss. Slowly the weight of the years and the slipping of the months seem to make the sweet scent just fade away.” he stops as almost to ponder that thought.
“I don’t know why, it just faded. Till one day…”
Kirk now stopped abruptly!
I waited but the pause just lingered.
“…till one day what, Kirk? what happened?” I implored to know. He never reveals any bits about his past, but when moments slip out like this, well I am anxious to know.
"My dear, sweet Betty.. ."
His face changes. The grin drops as if the spirit inside let go of it. A few moments of emptyness filled the air & Kirk's proud chest seems to have lost its air. "Forty-seven Springs did I tender that flower..."
Kirk stopped all together. The trip down memory lane ended and he just slumped forward in his chair again. Kirk reverted back to being a resident at the Palm Gardens nursing home and the only thing running now is the drool down his cheek.
So sad to see them just stop like that. Represed memories, no longer to see the light of day. They are stored away & locked up now - almost as if to wish the hurt no more.
It would be a few weeks before I get to see that side of Kirk again.