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Thursday, May 11, 2006

stupidity is only arm's length deep

Originally uploaded by kristalynn.

my old apartment building has a tiny garden in front of it. no one had tended to it for years and it had become overrun by weeds. it was unkempt and unsightly.

my first spring, i trotted in there and pulled up what i could and then planted a whole whack of sunflower seeds. i also germinated some seedlings in my apartment and transferred them when they were big enough. i planted them underneath my window, away from the street.

birds swooped down and plucked the seedlings from the ground. i cheered when they became too big to pull out. hail storms occurred and knocked my plantlets over. i propped them up with stones.

the most fit and/or fortunate survived. they flourished all through august and september. they grew up to my window, close to 7 or 8 feet tall. the birds came again and pecked at the seeds. they dropped enough onto the ground so that the sunflowers came back the next year without me planting any.

the next year my neighbor also took to tending the garden. when i saw him out there with a hoe, i ran out screaming.

“watch my tiny saplings!”

"i know, i saw them," he consoled. "but justin (our superintendent) stepped on a few."

i fumed. "twit!"

that year his flowers along with my flourishing sunflowers were our pride and joy. we'd meet in the evenings to admire our work. he'd give me beers.

"your morning glories are spectacular," i praised.

"thank you. your dwarf sunspots are captivating."

we'd beam.

soon enough, nature had taken over and the birds had scattered the seeds all over the garden. sunflowers were sprouting willy nilly, not just underneath my window as i had originally structured. they were growing close to the street, close to the hoi polloi, my personal nemeses.

because sunflowers are big and conspicuous, they attract a lot of attention, not unlike bright, shiny metal objects. every morning i'd find another one of my sunflowers destroyed. people would grab and twist the sunflower heads until they came off, leaving behind a raw and sinewy stalk that would wither and die.

one night i returned home and saw a couple of guys kicking one of my sunflower heads down the street. i watched them lose interest at the intersection.

another morning i found one wedged between two parking meters right in front of the garden.

i retrieved both and placed them in bowls of water on my coffee table.

people won't overextend themselves to be stupid - all the sunflowers within a 4-foot range from street were destroyed. a forest of grey stalks remained.

it's lilac season. keep your eyes peeled for people reaching up and twisting off the lilacs - which are actually branches of the tree - leaving behind more sinewy branches.

i guess we're lucky that stupid is also lazy. there's a bit of hope for that of which we won’t overextend ourselves.


At May 11, 2006, Blogger jim said...

the more i know people, the more i like dogs.

At May 12, 2006, Blogger Kell said...

It IS Lilac season - They're my favorite flowers, and my personal lilac bush bloomed beautifully this year. To date, I'm the only one that picked any - for my dining room table.... mmmm. Sorry about the stupid sunflower snatchers.

At May 18, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel guilty, I love lilacs so much, and about once every 3 or 4 weeks I succumb to the temptation to pick one. I try to do it ethically--only taking a bloom if there are many many other blooms present. I can't help it, the smell reminds me of my grandma.

I love that you wrote hoi polloi. I thought that meant upper class people until Charles corrected me.


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