A Colorless Rose

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Gardenia

As the Gardenia is part of the coffee family, it would seem to make complete sense if the plant itself were to smell like coffee. This may or may not be true. This much could be verified but few want to admit that they have gone ahead and smelled a flower in order to find out something seemingly trivial like that. However, the plant is native to tropical regions of Africa and Asia. It is surprising that there is a region in Asia in which the coffee can grow. Although perhaps that’s not quite what where the flower grows means. It’s at least a nice thought.

Yet, the flower is appealing in appearance. The leaves grow perfectly opposite each other and the flower has extravagant petals. Apparently the petals are leathery in texture and the petals are grand and point concave up like a cup. There is something nice about a flower whose petals seem to make the flower worth hunting down in somewhere in tropical Africa.

People in collegiate classes adore hunting down things. A friend of mine, a history major, which makes no sense to me, to major in history, played a live-action version of a popular war strategy board game. The name of the game was not so important. (I forgot its name, anyway.)

Anyhow, she and her friends all assumed the roles of various empires. She chose to be Russia and all of its territories. That was probably a wonderful choice, except my lack of historical knowledge made it so her telling me that made no difference in my wishing her good luck in winning. I also found out that apparently people normally do not wish people good luck on winning a war game. I assumed it was the proper thing to say, but it was not.

They were incredibly impressive in their making the game to be played by people in real time. Every single element of the game; every rule, every piece, every single element that could play any sort of part; was present in their version. It was impressive to watch happen.

I never did discover who won. I never did ask. If I ever do care enough, then I will ask her about it and I can hear all about how I need to learn more about history.

History is what holds people together and what allows people to look back on mistakes and promise themselves that they will never so such a thing with their life. Yet, people seem to like all too much the idea that they can become better than themselves simply by learning off of the mistakes and disasters of others. This is not a good way to improve oneself.

People in towns that are rich in history absolutely love to look up on every single event in the town and overanalyze exactly what has happened. They then will make a list of the events and make a pros and cons list. If they have time, they will make a Venn Diagram of the various aspects they wish to hone in on and organize them in such a visual way. Yet, I have not seen this done except for one time in my entire life. People don’t truly do this all the time. Only rarely.

I found out this when I saw a bulletin board in the town in which I met the guy who is currently the root of all of my problems. People seem to forget that I have not grown up in the town and therefore do not know anything about the people that they are mentioning to me.

Ricky did this all the time when telling me about friends of his. Actually, he had only currently done so once before. Or maybe I was confusing it with what I had told him. I don’t think he actually named a single name for me. Sometimes I wish that my memory would not fail me when I needed it most. This time I needed it most and my memory did not want to work well.

Now, I am out in the open and viewed by the stranger who wants absolutely nothing to do with me. I should ask him about that to make sure that I’m not just assuming things about him without knowing anything about it. That would be unfair to him. He should feel accomplished.

“So, who exactly are you?” he repeated the question. I suppose he decided that I was too foolish to begin with and therefore was incapable of answering such a simple question. Yet, I knew that he was not wrong in his assumption. I was unable to give him an answer since I was still standing in place, afraid that I would say the wrong thing and he would ask something else, something that I would not want to give him the answer to. I was too flustered.

“Elle.” My reply was so soft that I forgot that he may not have clearly heard me and could pose the question one time more. I would not want that to happen.

“So you’re Elle?” he seemed surprised that I was the stranger in the town.

“There’s no need to be shocked. Who are you, by the way?”

“Mason. Mason Gray.” He looked at me and grabbed the door and pulled it all the way back to where it wanted to be. He peered at my shoulder. “You okay there?”

“Of course. Why wouldn’t I be?” I then looked at my shoulder. It was bleeding.

“Your arm is bloody. It looks like it hurts. You sure you’re okay?”

“Yes. I’m fine.” I rolled my eyes and wished that things were different.

“So, what were you doing here? People don’t normally come here, you know?”

“Do you mean here as in the town or as in this specific house?”

“Whichever you feel more up to explaining.” His voice was soothing.

“I’ll tell you about whichever you prefer more to know about.”

“I would like to know more about the reason why you picked this town.”

“Wonderful. They’re connected stories.” My tone suggested I was uneasy.

“Of course they’re connected. How could they not be? They have to be.”

“I found some trinket and wanted to find its match. There was a yard sale extravaganza going on here and so I came here. I met Denise and she told me about this artist. And, as I’m sure you already know, when you meet Denise, you meet Ricky, and so that happened. Ricky’s the one who told me about Steven Bender and this is that house and so I came here to find out about the artist.” I didn’t know if Mason understood me, considering my speech was very rushed.

“Ah, so you wanted to find out something about the artist who lived here?”

“Doesn’t everyone want to know about the mystery man of the hour?”

“I like you,” he said while laughing, “you have a good sense of humor.”

“Thanks?” I was puzzled enough to only be able to respond with a single word.

“You’re welcome. Here, let me show you what you’re looking for.”

I followed him up some stairs. We passed the room I was going to enter into earlier. “So that room is not something to look into?” he was about to reply and then he never replied to me.

“Anyway, this is the place to look at.” He motioned to a blank door.

“Looks drab. You sure he was even an artist?”

“Of course he was. I can help you look around if you’d like.”

“Thanks for the offer, but I can find things myself.”

“Holler for me if you need me.”

“What if someone else knocks on the door?”

“Unlikely. No one else lives here. It’s just me alone here.”

“That’s depressing.”

“Lonely sometimes, but that’s it. It’s nice having a place to myself.”

“If you say so.”

“I’ll leave you to your hunting. Have fun.”

“Will do.” He left and I was relieved to have a place to myself.

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