It is difficult not to focus on reproduction while sitting in a public park on a stifling Tuesday afternoon. Kaitlynn watched each of her four children clamber across the decimated remains of recycled tires, a replacement for the construction sand of days past. The indigos and vibrant fuchsia tones coated each of the tiny eight hands, sherbert and red5 streaking the monkey bars. Katilynn gripped her own pop, which remained largely unpushed, the mien of a disappointed Flintstone patriarch casting a flat gaze upon the scene. It was difficult to not think of reproduction when the sticky glob of glucose syrup and buffered lactic acid plopped into the dirt, causing the ants below to spin in tight writhing circles. Gunner called to his siblings, face smeared with the remains of tragancanth gum and polysorbate 80, while changing the rules of a protean game. One ant recoiled under a glob of oppressive sugar water. The others were probing, uncaring, focusing on the delicate task of bringing this corn syrup to the Queen. Gunner simply will not lay down for his nap.
It is not illegal to loiter in hospital waiting rooms. Chase would satisfy a moribund itch by regularly waiting in the Saint Ambrose Emergency Room, albeit perfectly healthy. The effervescent character of those in immediate need numbed and scaled down his own insecurities. The chairs always had the same busy, swirling patterns with inlaid pastel triangles. One only encounters this upholstery on charter buses and mid-90s compact cars, the function serves to hide the low vagrant stains of constant use. A Korean man with a makeshift headwrap and a wide jaunty stance pressed his finger demandingly into a nurse’s clipboard punctuating each word. The lingering musk of impending tragedy, Chase loved it. The fortuitous misfortune of every passing clinical moment, this was his therapy.
“Flowerbomb, that was the perfume, it was called Flowerbomb and it comes in this pink bottle,” Amy recounted tracing figures in the air with a finger wet from cold pressed juice, “it’s not strippery, but not SWEET, either.” Trevor sat at the bistro table of the outdoor cafe silently suffering through a zero calorie soliloquy about corporate scents. “But, also, and this will sound weird but SANDALWOOD is, like a memory trigger for me, being from Tacoma, I-” This was not the right swipe that Trevor envisioned as he pulled apart the flesh of a fruit cup tangerine in a desultory fashion. “-or when, ok so I have this thing called an ‘elevator test’ and if you can tell I am WEARING IT, then it fails the ele-” The experience was clean yet squalid, a clean finish to a sweet-sour encounter.
The bungalow on 641 Canyon Drive had just cleared the estate allocation and was ready for a short sale, pending approval from probate court. Leading in from the entryway was a Rococo handrail with intricate, gaudy roses carved into the ornate balustrades. At the time of construction, every detail was regal, but the home had shown its age indelicately. The wall of mirrors was laced with gold veins, a modern punchline on the aesthete of Nixon-era home construction. One didn’t so much look into the mirror as attempt to look through it, at the dated wood paneling and beryl shag carpet therein. Well-tread carpet has an air of record stores and yearbooks, imparting that teleological waft that only time can impart. All of this would be gutted, this would be fixed, the rate of return would be incredible once an open floorplan was implemented, relative to comps in the area, scaled to squarefoot pro-rata values. It will be breathtaking in its transformation.
Terrence sat in the courtroom waiting area, dictating to Siri with a flat, vindictive affect, “you did this, period, this is what you wanted, period, I only hope that this brought you some type of closure period new paragraph, you never thought about Brandon during any of these proceedings period.” His voice echoed across the carrera marble of the municipal hallway, enough to amplify the macabre tragedy of his personal life, but approaching him would still remain in poor taste. “I don’t have any outstanding cards, comma, your credit score is not my concern at this time, period new paragraph.” There is a gastroenteric taste tied to regret. During those moments when absolute dread sets in, the gall bladder secretes an acidic reflux cocktail for the afflicted to ruminate upon. “Your attorney’s fees will be paid by the community assets, hyphen, however, the remainder will be divided pursuant to the Court Order.” During those times where the present becomes an impassable barrier to what has occurred, the bile will tickle the gumline, underlining the discomfort of the moment. During those moments, a “CTRL-Z” for the physical world seems like the greatest indulgence.
Landscaping is a form of manual labor celebrated in the abstract, usually by those far enough removed such that they never need to engage in it. Surveying the grounds of the Montecito Tea Garden, patrons admire lovingly the sculpted bonsai trees and raked stones imported from the neighboring quarry. Fulgencio toils unseen, maintaining Edo period strolling gardens in the twilight, watering imported orchids during a torrid drought. “FULGENCIO! those cherry blossoms are everywhere, mixing in with the Coonara Pygmy leaves I told you to take care of last week, we have a wedding reception tomorrow and I wont have the Walmsley’s special day ruined because you are bitching about overtime, so let’s go,” boomed Chad Warner, groundskeeping supervisor, which is a titled way to remove Chad from groundskeeping entirely. However, Fulgencio raked Japanese maple leaves with a calm repose, breathing an herbal citrus goodness from the environment. No degree of surrounding problems could shake his unflappable character, for he lived and breathed in the spirit of the Tea Ceremony on a daily basis.
“Alright, children, again!” commanded Ms. Rosander to her group of supplicant students. “Endosperm, embryo, seed coat, endocarp, mesocarp, exocarp, vellus hair!” the students responded in rote programming. “PERICARP, it’s like you aren’t even listening the PERICARP CONTAINS THE OTHER CARPS BUT IT IS DISTINCT. AGAIN!” This revolutionary new method of child-education took standardized testing to a new granular level. The focus would now be not on “facts” or “analysis” but instead, sentential lists of minutia. By drilling the parts of stone fruits for weeks on end, every other piece of information would seem highly probative by contrast. Walter Park knew almost nothing about non-euclidian geometry, but after drilling peach parts for what felt like a continued sentence, his tween brain was frothing at the aspect of learning binomials. “”Endosperm, embryo, seed coat, endocarp, mesocarp, exocarp, vellus hair…PERICARP!” “Alright, as a reward, we will now take a break and learn Stoichiometry.” [cheers, jubilance, presumably.]