Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Phalaenopsis Thief

John Laroche: Then one morning, I woke up and said, "Fuck fish." I renounce fish, I will never set foot in that ocean again. And there hasn't been a time where I have stuck so much as a toe back in that ocean.
Susan Orlean: But why?

John Laroche: Done with fish.

These days I have more or less exhausted Dan Munz's vaunted poetic classics. Nothing ever really matched the elegant beauty of his Ode to the Camarones, the Valentine's Sonnet. Gainesville is a pretty place most days. Today it rained and the sky was gray. But the sun peaked through the clouds, enough so to illuminate the green of the oaks, and the Spanish moss that hang on them. The Snot Icicles, as Vikram so nicely refers to them as. They say one can still see Buffalo out in Payne's Prairie, beyond the city limits. Gainesville has its natural beauty. The day's come and go, talking of Michelangelo. So what is there left to do really? Football season is long gone, and basketball too. No one is in the baseball mood these days. My research in Genetics is reaching it’s end. Nothing really worked, although some progress was made. One could say. Soon I will be graduated. I took a ride this morning to Bay Islands Coffee Shop. It is neither a shop, nor in a bay. It is an Island of sorts, I suppose. It is a tiny little shack with a Man in it. You drive up to it; I should mention it is located in the middle of a parking lot. It resembles the photo developing shack Pete and Pete's girlfriend worked in. I usually order a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel, and coffee with milk, sugar, and ice. I did so again today. Sadly, Gainesville does not have a Zoo. As one of my professors once said, the Pet Supermarket will have to suffice. After my coffee and bagel, I drove to Lowes Home Improvement Warehouse.

I had a lot of help along the way with my research, especially from one of the Chinese graduate students. I never really understood anything she said, but it's the thought that counts. I figured she would like a flower, as a token of my appreciation for her help. So I went to the gardening section outside the store and looked around for a little bit. Nothing really caught my eye. Then I saw a Bonsai tree, and almost got it, but remembered that it’s a Japanese thing, and how the Chinese are still a little sore after the Rape of Nan king and all. So I didn't get it. As I was walking in the store originally, I noticed an exceedingly beautiful cashier. Remembering this, I went to ask her some advice as to what flower to get for Ms. Liu. She mentioned that Orchids are always a good gift flower. So I walked to the back of the gardening section and picked out a gorgeous purple Phalaenopsis. "This should do" I thought. I mean, how many days and nights, and weekends, and endless hours, did she try explaining things to me, in vain? Liu: "Wortex Rightry" ... Me: "Huh? .... Oh! Vortex Lightly, thanks!"

"Orchids are always good... No, I haven't seen it."

So I picked out the purple plant, and as I was walking back, an old lady said, rather curmudgeonly, "Oh that's pretty." I said "thanks" and kept walking. Then another old woman said "Oh that’s pretty." It was kind of weird to hear two old women say exactly the same thing. I wonder if they are in some Orchid Society here in town. I wonder if I will come up in conversation in one of their meetings next month. Did you see that young lad buy the purple one? Oh wasn't it precious! It felt as if they were waiting their whole life just to say, "my god what a beautiful flower, you picked a nice one kid."

"Oh, that's pretty."

"Oh, that's pretty."

I walked up to the cash register to pay, plant in hand. I thanked the cashier, whose name I cannot recall, for the recommendation. Building up a little courage, she was surpassingly beautiful, may I remind you, I asked her if she had ever seen Adaptation. She hadn't. I tried explaining the plot, but explaining Adaptation is a little difficult. She seemed disinterested. But I wonder, how many others have asked her if she has seen the movie? I mean a lot of people must buy orchids. She has probably worked in that section of the store for sometime. Maybe she has seen it. Maybe everyone asks her that. She was a blonde. "A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window" as Mr. Marlowe would say.

The rain began again; it didn't stop for a long time.

"Yeah, it's a really good flick."

Some Orchid thieves. (2003)


Rich said...

Bravo...especially on the use of pictures to help tell your story.

Matt said...

Eric, you have preserved the true legacy of the late Neimand R. Neimanlos

Eric said...


Nosferatu said...

Ignore anonymous. I know for a fact he blows goats.

Dan said...

great work, Eric. Rico told me he liked it too, at least the pictures.

Anonymous said...

Too long. My finger hurts from scrolling down.

Eric said...

Dan, Rico reads English?

the actual rod said...

yes. orchids are delightful.

Anonymous said...

[At a seminar, Tom has asked Nostradamus for advice on his new post in which 'nothing much happens']

Nostradamus: Nothing happens in the world? Are you out of your fucking mind? People are murdered every day. There's genocide, war, corruption. Every fucking day, somewhere in the world, somebody sacrifices his life to save someone else. Every fucking day, someone, somewhere makes a conscious decision to destroy someone else. People find love, people lose it. For Christ's sake, a child watches her mother beaten to death on the steps of a church. Someone goes hungry. Somebody else betrays his best friend for a woman. If you can't find that stuff in life, then you, my friend, don't know crap about life. And why the FUCK are you wasting my two precious hours with your blog? I don't have any use for it. I don't have any bloody use for it.
Tom: Ok, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, Tom, stop fucking with me. Eric sucks.