There are various routes i can take to get to my house from work. It involves at least three different modes of transport, but depending on which office I’ve been working in, it can involve four. (Tube, overground train, tram, bus. For some reason I don’t count walking, not sure why.)
Last night I cut out the final bus journey to walk instead, it was a nice evening, and there was no rush.
I walked past a garden with climbing roses making a bid for freedom over the garden wall. They were so full of themselves and so bursting with life I thought I should stop and smell them - actually they had no smell, which was a shame. Pretty though.
I used to work in a florist as a teenager. I was usually in the Kemptown shop, often on my own. When I started, it was all in such a rush that the boss left without telling me how to use the till. My first customer was a lovely man who patiently showed me what to do. Occasionally I would run out of change, and would have to ask customers to wait in the shop alone, while I ran to the newsagents to swap a £5 note for coins. Sometimes the shop would be so cold I’d stand on the other side of the street in the sunshine just to warm up. It was a nice place. People were nice.
I was thinking about all this because the roses last night didn’t smell.
I was thinking about it because of the one customer I didn’t like.
She worked at a centre for the blind. I won’t name names, because it doesn’t seem right, and it was a long time ago. Every week she’d come bursting in, filling the shop with her condescension. She had a budget for flowers, and every week I’d watch her buy the most ostentatious blooms she could find. Anything big. Anything expensive looking. Anything she liked.
Nothing that ever smelt nice, or really had any scent at all.
What kind of person works in a centre for the blind and chooses flowers for their looks.
Flowers! Of all the things.