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.
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!"
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."
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.