A slow decay

I filled the vase full of water, nearly to the top. I hate when flowers prematurely die. The bouquet was intensely bright, each petal full of life. Two days later I noticed a handful of petals had begun to dull. The water had tiny plant particles but it was clear.

Three days later I noticed a handful of petals had fallen onto the table and the stems of the flowers were browning. I checked the water. I took the vase to the sink and carefully poured out the old water and filled it with new. I poured in some of the magic flower powder. I whispered, “you can hang in there a little longer, yeah?” I sat the vase back down on the table next to our bed.

The weekend came. The dying outside petals had worked their way into the core of three flowers. They were dead. I pulled them out of the vase. I didn’t want their deaths to create more death.

On Tuesday, the water was brown. The stems looked mushy, but those petals, these weren’t dead flowers. I mean those petals still had color, they still had life. I thought, “the water is probably toxic.” I pulled out the bunch and plucked off the dead petals and poured out the brown water. “Should I cut the stems again? At an angle, right. No. I shouldn’t. That might shock them and they aren’t doing too well.” I put fresh water in the vase. I placed the remaining surviving bunch back in. I sat the vase back down on the table next to our bed.

By Thursday, they were all dead. But I didn’t throw them away. Not right away. I poured the water out because it smelled bad but I left them by our bed.

At first, I said, “there isn’t anything we can do, if he doesn’t want help we can’t make him.” IHe was still full of life. His cheeks were rosy and he still had jokes. Sure, sometimes he was out of it. Dosing off in inappropriate places. But I checked and he had plenty of water.

Three years later I noticed his eyes seemed wild even when he wasn’t high. He did need a little water and maybe some magic flower powder. I encouraged him to find a different job and leave that woman. I said, “you can hang in there a little longer, yeah?” I sat back down on my couch.

2011 came. The wild eyes had become wild thoughts. He shuffled around. Who was giving him this stuff? He left that woman. I was glad. I didn’t want her addiction to create more addiction.

In 2013, he looked mushy. His hair and beard were unkept. His eyes were always wide and he talked rapidly. But there is still life in those wild eyes. I mean he is still brilliant and can still captivate a  room with his stories. I trimmed his hair. I hugged his tall lanky torso. “You have to get help. This is toxic.”  Why can’t he stop? Cut this at an angle, right? No. No. That might send him into shock.

By today, he was nearly dead. His teeth were rotting and his eyes were rolling back in his head. But I didn’t throw him away. I poured out the water and I sat down beside him on the bed.


  1. Beautiful analogy Leo.

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