buzzing ikebana

for several years, i’ve shopped at the same grocery store, and in all that time, the same gentleman has worked in the produce department, though we’d never shared more than a cordial nod of greeting. he’s always stood out because of the way he looks and feels, at least to me. there are some people you can stand near, and just kind of know they’re living more undercover than average. it felt as if i was walking through a field of corn, and that he was a butterfly shucking its way through the path.

he wasn’t gliding, flying, sitting on flowers, or anything so beautiful as all that, but if I took a second to observe him, it felt that way regardless. so whenever i see him, i smile, cause his spirit reminds me of someone else.

after all these years i finally had a question for him about the tomatoes, and it was like i’d unleashed something in him that needed to vent about the state of anarchy he’d been witness to, and of all things, it was about a toilet tissue encounter.

he recounted observing a young man grab two packages of toilet tissue from an older woman’s hands as she stood in line to checkout. he said he walked over, grabbed the tissue from him, and proceeded to lecture him on his behavior. i’m leaving out the words he used, and the passion with which he used them. he was more than incensed, said no one seemed to realize the seriousness of the situation, then explained where he lived, to describe his assumptions about education and intelligence levels in the place he worked. i didn’t do more than nod and listen while wondering if butterflies can perceive injustice in nature and if that’s what causes them to speak. he admitted to knowing he crossed the line but said he had a thing about older women, and i smiled, cause his spirit also reminded me of myself.

when another customer approached with a question about apples, i walked over to the floral department. the cost of flowers in bunches had gone up, while the price of arrangements was the same.

we seem to be a pattern representing the expression of all humanity, each arranged a particular kind of way inside, as stability demands we not allow external circumstances to alter our peace.

the grocery store may always feel like a luxury to me, so i couldn’t help but smile, because the cost of nature at that moment seemed to mimic life.

giving more is a beautiful expression of surplus previously provided, and sometimes our gift must be wrapped in petals of spontaneous combat.

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