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Roses and Yellow Hummers
With the phone in one hand,
and her sunglasses in the other, the woman who had just turned 42,
resolved herself that day to find a job or else throw her body down in
front of a big yellow Hummer out of utter despair. She lit a cigarette,
took a long satisfying inhalation held it for a few seconds before
letting it out in a quick rush rather than slowly like she intended,
because she spotted something in the street she didn't like.
A crushed rose.
It looked as if someone left it there after being
horribly rejected by someone they loved.
Why it bothered her she could not say, only that
it-looked grotesque picturesque upon a backdrop of speeding cars on the
street. The woman stared at it and for a moment pondered when was the
last time a man bought her flowers. The way her husband did when they
first started dating.
Such a horrible waste, she thought. And such a sad
state trying to find a job, and completely bugged by a crushed rose on
the street, and no metaphor to keep me on task, as if my writer in the
sky gave up and went home.
She looked down at the paper in her hand, almost
useless since the invention of the Internet.
Where have I been? She thought. What have I been doing since I got
married and horribly divorced? Why has everything turned so impersonal?
She asked herself, and stared at the paper, but her eyes were dragged
back to the crushed rose in the street.
And suddenly there was an impulse to go retrieve
it, to save it, perhaps wrap it in a tissue from her purse, take it
home and crush it between two large volumes of the Encyclopedia
Britannica just one more thing that had become almost obsolete, so that
it wasn't entirely gone. She actually got as far as the curb before
stopping herself. It was so abrupt that she almost saw that bright
yellow hummer about to run her down.
She took in a breath and let the cigarette fall
from her hand, gracefully. It bounced once before stopping and rolling
over the curb, into the ditch.
It was only then that she understood.
The metaphor was it didn't matter why the rose was
there. It only seemed to matter that no one was dumb enough to go into
the street after it had been crushed.
It was obsolete to whatever love it had previously
The woman looked at the paper in her hand.
Got to find a job, she thought.
But instead of crossing the street where the rose
lay, she turned and walked parallel to it, and from it. Keeping her
eyes on the paper and ignoring the presence of barreling yellow
Chemane Wright llives
in Texas and has one son. She has never been published before.
front page image is copyright ©
by Anthony Kitterick, 2012