Tuesday, January 11, 2011


The scent of lavender was overpowering. The man stopped and doubled back, gripping his yellow umbrella tight in a powerful fist and opening his mouth as if dazed. He saw that the smell came from a vendor that he had not seen only a few feet back, and also that people were beginning to look at him. He closed his mouth, lowered his head, and moved on.

The people in the town thought that he was strange enough already, having made a fortune abroad and decided to move back to the small town where he was born and taken a manual job shoveling gravel and dirt and wood chips into wheelbarrows and trucks. Now, at 32 still very young, he had quit that job and dedicated his time to visiting the uninteresting, untended, weed-covered standing ruin of the small old hospital and orphanage.

After the small downtown area, Spruce Street crossed a few other significant ones, and eventually bisected Dillard Road, which only fed a few farms and other towns nearby. After bisecting Dillard, Spruce became unpaved as it slowly wound up and then behind short green Alend Hill behind town. There were few footprints here, but many tire tracks because the road was still used to travel to and from the other towns over the hills; nobody passed through, and so he had the blackberries all to himself.

The road began a slight downhill that they had, as children, braved happily with their bicycles, racing down and drifting for as long as possible on the momentum before working on the long uphill between the two larger, rockier Hander and Jules Hills. He remembered those days and smiled, continuing.

The day was warm, and he wore no jacket; there was a breeze that took his sweat before he could even feel it, and he was glad. After a few minutes, and halfway through the uphill climb, he stopped and stared at a small, almost imperceptible gap in the trees that he had not seen before; his face lit up and he laughed, sending a few sparrows and robins flying in surprise. He pushed his way through the leaves and weeds, fighting his way through the tiny overgrown path to the well he knew was there.

He came to it: the old, dry stone well that they had danced and sat and talked around such a long time ago. Now it was surrounded by branches and beer cans and bits of glass that he carefully avoided; he leaned over and laughed when he saw that it was still there. It was unspeakably dirty and almost washed of its color by the rains, but still there; sadly, it was too far down to reach and pick up, and there was no climbing the smooth cement sides of the well.

He sighed, casting the mangled teddy bear a last friendly look before turning and finding the road again. He continued upward, once stepping aside the narrow road for a slow car to pass, and came to the place where the road became flat. Here was a tree, and he stopped and circled around it as he did every day to see the heart cut there with a knife and the happy E+S inscribed within. A solitary tear came to his eye, as it did every day, and he brushed it away, jumping to grab the lowest branch; as a boy he had boosted her up and simply ran at the tree, scrambling up the side and grabbing the branch.

He hoisted himself up to rest, transfixed by the yellow thread that still hung there from her dress, from so long ago. He sighed, so long ago. Was 15 years really such a long time in the scope of things? He answered himself, reflecting sadly and angrily at the same time, Yes. Yes it is.

The voice of the boy said, Okay-okay, just asking! The frown disappeared as he remembered his old self, the self that had had parents and a sister and friends and teachers and a job and a life…and Susan, most importantly. Then Susan’s face to him and the frown came back stronger than ever. Angrily, he pushed off the tree’s trunk and slid down to the ground. Brushing himself off, he went on.

After a minute he saw the roof of the hospital through the trees and walked faster, excited. He almost ran through the gate, and stumbled on new weeds that he hadn’t noticed yesterday. He ran past the man-sized sundial in the center of the front lawn and vaulted over the tall, untended ledges to the right, scraping his jean-protected thighs in the process; the weeds grew shorter here and he could see a flower or two still fighting, remnants of their hard attempts to civilize and beautify their hangout.

The enormous oak still blocked his view, and he twisted around it laughing, and—stopped. Dead silence; there was nobody there. He was sure that if she came, it would be on the rock they had spent so much time falling in love on earlier, and showing their love on later. His heart sank and he contemplated the sad flowers that hadn’t been aided since his friend Stephen’s younger brother Billy had abandoned it after losing interest 12 years ago; still they fought on.

Then he was a flower, abandoned by all and still fighting through the weeds infesting the garden of life. He smirked, then snarled at the cliché metaphor, discarding it; he had always hated business, and had thus retired so early. Writing had always come naturally to him, but he had quickly lost the spark of creativity after coming back, and didn’t wish to leave his hidden sanctuary. He sat on the rock as the minutes past, remembering old connections and friendships and loves, but none as strong as hers.

He made many sighs, realizing that he was not a practical man; he loved how hard physical labor made him forget, but hated the tediousness and uniformity of the practice. He thought the same about alcohol, and food, and exercise. He really didn’t have many interests.

He reflected that he should have bought the lavenders from the vendor this morning. He had never seen that man before, and hoped that he would be there the next day, so that he could give the sweet flowers to his love. He remembered their first day together as lovers are.

It had been utterly unplanned, and tragically unavoidable. She had been wearing the use-and love-worn yellow summer dress of so many years, and he could not remember what he had been wearing. They lay next to each other and talked in the shade of the huge oak, and held hands and kissed. Before either of them knew it, clothes were magically drifting off and leaving two naked, loving souls side by side.

There had been little chance that anybody could find them, and nobody ever had—except once, for friendly Billy, and he had later tended the garden for a little while. Then he thought of the lavenders, and the lavender scent and taste of her skin every day, and he needed no flowers to smell the damning fragrance of his heart, and his soul.

Birds flew overhead, and the day grew a bit chill. He wished he had brought a jacket now, and climbed the oak to look out over the two-story hospital. Storm clouds were gathering in the west, but he stayed put until the drizzle drove him into the shelter of the hospital. The floors and walls were dusty but clean, and he made his way to the doctor’s office that he had often used.

There was no lighting, but in the dim half-light he could make out her shape in the sleeping bag he had left for such occasions. “You’re here!” he exclaimed. “You should have waited for me by the rock.” He shook his head happily, content and used to the lack of reply and thinking She always waits for me here.

He kissed her cheek, on the table, then walked over and lay down next to her in the sleeping back, grabbing her slim, oddly cold waist. He frowned, “You need heating up.” Then he smiled, “Oh, but I’ve missed you!”


  1. wow. took a while to sink in, but that was great.

  2. Good Great Scott, that's a very messed up guy...

  3. So very sad, until the end. I do wonder how she died. Did he do it at some point in time, and if so why/how?

  4. I once heard a story just like this, don't remember many of the details though. Good read.

  5. I don't think I fully understand all of it. But I do think what I did get was beautiful

  6. its a little bland. spice it up and add some flavor. sauce is always a good idea to add too. the beginning is a bit lengthy, and how did she die? did he kill her? and how long ago? this pasta is incomplete. although it has a lot of potential. it could be gourmet if you give it a bit more attention.

  7. A patch kit (a few different patch sizes,carbon road framessandpaper or a metal scraper, and a tube of glue), a set of tire levers, and an air pump.
    Inspect Tire
    With the wheel removed from your bike, inspect the outer ICAbike01 surface of the tire to make sure there are no sharp objects like a thumb-tack or thorn stuck in the tread.
    Remove Tir
    Remove the valve cap and fully deflate thecarbon fibre bike framestube by depressing the valve stem with the hooked end of your tire lever. There are two main types of valve stems, a schrader valve and a presta valve. This tutorial is based on a schrader valve, but I will be covering the different valve types in another tutorial.
    Now it’s time to remove your tire, one side at a time. Choose a section of tire that is away from the valve and hook one of the tire levers under the bead, directly in line with one of your spokes. Pry one side of the tire bead over the edge of the rim, and then hook the end of the tire lever to the nearest spoke. Insert another tire lever two spokes away from the first, and a third another two spokes away. Now the middle lever should fall out, and you can continue the process. When the tire is loose enough you can just run a tire lever around the rest of the rim to pull the whole side over.
    After you have removed one side of the tire, the other side should come off very easily.
    Inspect Tube
    Now remove the tube from the tire, and try to keep track of where it was positioned in relation to the tire. Inflate the tube to approximately twice its original size. This will expand the hole making it easier to find.
    Listen carefully to the entire circumferencechina carbon framesof the tube; you should hear a hissing sound that will indicate where the leak is. As a last resort you can submerge the tube in water and watch for bubbles, but you’ll want to avoid doing this as you’ll need the tube to be completely dry in order for the patch glue to work.
    Once you’ve found the leak, take note of whether it is on the inner or outer side of the tube.
    If the hole was on the outer side of the tube, inspect the inner surface of the tire in that spot to make sure the object that caused the puncture is not still stuck in the tire. Double check the entire inner side of the tire by running your fingers along the entire surface, feeling for obstacles along the way.
    If the hole was on the inner side of the tube,zipp 404inspect your entire rim to make sure there are no sharp burrs in the metal, and that the rim tape is properly protecting the tube from your spoke ends.
    Now that the rim and tire are clear, it’s time to patch the tube. Select an appropriate sized patch for the hole. Use the sandpaper or scraper provided in your kit to buff the surface of the tube for an area a bit larger than the patch. You need to buff the tube so that it is no longer shiny. If the molding line is running along the area where the patch is to be applied, you must sand it down completely, or it will provide an air channel. Once buffed, avoid touching that area with your fingers.
    Apply a dab of rubber cement, and then spread it into a thin coat, using your cleanest finger. Work quickly. You want a thin, smooth coat of cement; if you keep fiddling with it as it begins to dry, you’ll risk making it lumpy. The thinner the cement, the faster it will dry. It is very important to allow the cement to dry completely.
    Peel the foil from the patch and press the patch onto the tube firmly, squeezing the patch tightly onto the tube.