I bought my wife flowers today. A breath of spring wrapped in color.
Amid the ensuing affectionate embrace, a little voice asked why does she get flowers?
Because that’s how much I love her, resulting in more affection, of course, and the sound of rummaging in the junk drawer.
Scissors in hand the boys marched out the door, purpose in their eyes. Scant moments later, arms heavy with flowers the boys pronounced this is how much we love you. Then turned to me, with wickedness in their grins and mouthed…more than you.
I would say the jagged stems that now crown the brush in the flower bed protest the same.
I knew a girl in high school, the kind that boys turn to stare at as she walks down the hall, giving a heat index. She lived her rating, like a choice steak at the butcher market. It became her.
The thing about a steak is, even though its wrapped in cellophane, the more it gets poked the worse it starts to look. Poke it enough, it starts to change color and spoil. Eventually it gets stamped only for animal consumption. Thus is life in the meat market.
The thing is, she was not the only victim. The guys that chased her, they became the game. Their identity became wrapped in how many people you can tag before you get out. In their quest for manhood, they lost their humanity.
If she became the meat, they became the monster.
You can only play that game for so long before you end up feeling like the bush my boys desecrated to show their endearing love. Everything pretty is gone.
When you don’t feel pretty, you’ll take what you can get. Just to make you feel alive.
And I’m not just talking about sex. Am I?
Inside the scarred stems of the bush lies a seed of new life, ready to burst forth with the proper care and love. My wife still sees the innate beauty in the flower bed, reminding her of the love that went into it and came out of it. Much like she did me.
Seeing that in each other makes us human. Bringing it out in each other, that’s divine.