personal blog: simon

calm down. ‘collect all your pebbles,’ something my mother used to say. ‘be brave. be brave. be brave,’ and there my father’s words cut in, echoing.

wednesday has become a wet and miserable day. a perfect day to buy flowers for mother’s day. a perfect day to wallow. the sidewalk fills with pedestrians and I feel like they are all mocking me. how many of them carry secrets and burdens? how many of them are truly happy? there is always a one that smiles during a miserable day with an honest twist of positivity. but, today, I have difficulty telling everyone apart. the umbrellas and hoodies masking faces, not to mention my frazzled emotions blinding me to distinguish and assemble anything concrete, and for a second I lose my baring.

calm down. collect your pebbles. be brave.

don’t faint. hold on to your wits. focus on your destination. breathe… breathe… breathe…

the rain hits my unprotected face, keeping me awake, alive. it’s only a few paces to the local florist and I got to make it without passing out. tulips. they got to be tulips. my sister didn’t have to remind me because I well knew our mom’s preferences. on occasion, my mother would plant poppies and sunflowers. it seems that red and yellow tones were her favourite. the garden, when we had a garden, was filled with a yellow and red variety of flowers. I, however, preferred bellflowers and delphiniums… but, then again, I have no green thumb. the herbs rarely managed to survive through a month under my care on the kitchen counter, and then I would just discard them before Kevin took upon himself to lecture me on taking care of plants.

my father, however, hated to discard anything. he might have been even considered a hoarder. the pile of aged newspapers stacked in boxes in the garage as if they would serve as evidence in some crime. the toys had their own place. toys tossed to the side by my siblings. a pile of new ones collecting from my own collection. I would acquire many in my childhood, mostly from the field trips with my father, a bargain, a trade of tokens. ‘a special one,’, he used to call me, and every toy had its own meaning, a date stamp, like every relationship had its own expiry date.

enough. enough!

why do I keep on going back to him? to my father? why is he such a pest I cannot easily pick and squash under my boot?

my mother. it’s about my mother. it’s mother’s day after all.

focus. calm down. collect your pebbles. be brave. don’t faint. hold on to your wits. breathe…

another day. another mantra.

but the rain keeps on flooding the gutters. the rain keeps on tilting the reality. the windows seemed to have shifted.


concentrate. focus. ten more steps to reach the florist.

the flowers. the tulips. my mom’s favourite. red tulips to be specific or the yellow ones with the hint of red.

the bell dings as I open the door and enter the unit. that must get annoying. the warmth and scent hit me first and a woman in her early thirties greets me with a smile. she reminds me of my sister.

“be with you in a moment,” and she disappears to the back.

I’m glad because I need to catch my breath. the ten-minute walk has been strenuous, as if I had run a 5K.



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