Sunday, May 22, 2011

a rose is a rose is a rose

Yesterday as I was dusting I smiled as I came across two glass bottles, one green, one translucent, that have been with me since I was fifteen. They have moved with me from place to place, carefully wrapped in numerous pages of newspaper, so they wouldn't break. Each time I unpacked them I looked at them and smiled because they are filled with memories. I forget about them from time to time, but when I remember them for more than just a decoration, I remember petal by petal what sits inside of them, and why I've kept them for so long.

Their story began as a simple one. Two empty bottles that were given to me and at the time I had no clue what to do with them. I was fifteen after all. At that age I remember a friend of mine that seemed to be in constant dance with a new boyfriend, each that was ever so generous to buy dozens of roses for her. I had never received a dozen roses at that age, and I was always surprised by them. She was that girl though. The girl you give flowers to. I on the other hand wore a chain wallet and Airwalks, not so much the flowery kind of girl. But, still they seemed sweet and nice and I would take a sniff whenever she showed them to me. 

Sometime after this, I can't remember when, I got my first dozen roses. They were beautiful and seemed even more delicate coming from the guy I was dating because just like I was not that flowery girl, he was not that gallant type of guy. When they started to wither I didn't know what to do. It seemed sad to throw them away and a little to Poeish to leave dead flowers in a vase. This is where my friend came in with her expertise and told me, "Hang them upside down so they dry right, then you can use the petals for anything. Decoration, put one in a book, etc." I did as she explained and when they were dry I was still at a loss, then I noticed the empty bottles that sat on my window sill. So, I took each rose and put it in the bottle. Some I had to break apart, some had dried small enough that they fit in perfectly. And so began the tradition of roses in the bottles.

Now, both are full. I still try to squeeze in each one when I get roses. But, what's interesting about these two bottles is that when I look at them I get a wave of memories of how I received each one. The simple rose bought from the street vendor, "vendiendo rosas", or the dozen sent to me just because. They also remind me how I evolved into a hybrid of myself and my friend. She always gushed when she received roses, while I never knew quite what to say and more than once accepted them rather awkwardly. Thank god for practice, because even when I didn't know what to say, I loved them. Loved each time they were handed to me or delivered. Loved their sweet smell and their silky petals. Loved the sweet gesture because even though it can be viewed as a little cliche or cheesy, everyone needs a little cheese. A gesture, a token.

So, these two bottles go with me wherever I go. Filled to their cork brim with roses from people that made me smile, people who loved me, people who I loved in whatever form it was at the time (puppy loves a little sketchy), but they are there. Two bottles filled with good memories waiting to be remembered, smiles to smile, and stories to tell. 

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