While Malia Obama takes a gap year (rolls eyes to another dimension) I am bored out of my hair roots selling flowers. Selling flowers to people who do not give two flying hoots about anything but kale. Maybe sweet potatoes too but mostly kale. I am not necessarily the one helping customers or taking the money. Yet. But my presence here has earned me the right to say I sell, even though all I do I sit and let my eyes wander.
Eyes wander even when there is nothing much to see. Even in the dark, mine wander. With the wicker off and no floodlights or streetlights in the vicinity, it gets really dark. Sometimes I watch the amber die off after blowing the flame out of the wicker. Then the smell of the soot knocks me out sometimes. I wonder if I did a drug test now, would it turn positive.
But I don’t play tennis, run or any competitive sports. I am here at the market and my eyes like to wander. It is here that I have gone back to my habit of biting my nails. I no longer bite them as my mother says, I am now exploring my nail beds.
Dipping into her apron for change, mother said, “boys don’t bite their nails.”
I don’t look up at her because it wasn’t supposed to be a conversation. It is a statement. A statement that’s about to become a song. She knows I would rather be home reading ingredients on the back of salt packaging but she needs an extra pair of eyes around. And hands. It is my first week.
The uptown market is situated on the tarmac in between an old government office block and an abandoned silo turned in to partitioned produce stands. The tarmac has been rendered impassable by the traders who now occupy the whole stretch.
Somehow, with its overlooked existence it turned out to be some form of organized chaos with unintended aesthetics. Mother asks me to deliver flowers to an office on the top floor of the government building.
The building was heavily manned. As if we would take back our looted millions. I wish we would. What sound should those buzzing things make if I have a weapon? Not that I intend to go anywhere with a revolver. I like how it looks in other peoples hands, but it has never been a desire to hold or use it. So chill.
At the floor, the secretary asked me to wait for the P.A to come pick the flowers from me. I drifted to the large windows by the elevators. Staring down, I was astonished at how gorgeous and silent the market looked from above.
“It is beautiful from up here. Isn’t it?” an angelic voice asked.
I didn’t know how long she had been standing there soaking in the view with me, I just knew how incredibly beautiful she looked, even from the side.
She turned, looked me in the eye with a smile while extending her hand.
“Catherine,” she said.
“Flowers,” I awkwardly squealed trying my best to gently clasp the softest hands I have ever had the honor of touching.
“Your name is flowers?” she asked with concern.
We both laughed, at the joke. Maybe at me. But I, was mostly laughing in all the money I didn’t have to whisk this cherub to an exotic village in Peru.
“Huh?!”She asked with a cute crinkle on her nose.
“My name is Jonathan.”
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