Today I put yellow flowers on the grave of a thief who needed love, this made me late for my appointment.


Today I know I offered flowers to the grave of a thief, a despised man who stole from the innocent and hard-earning.

Today left the train station on the way to visit a friend in Floreste in Buenos Aires. A lady wearing thick sunglasses despite the gray and dim sky gave wrong directions, saying I needed walk into the cemetary for a bus stop. I decided I must buy yellow roses for offerings if I were to pass through a cemetary and asked one of the flower-vendors at the stone gate glazed in the chilly Argentine winter (which occurs at the same time as summer in the Northern Hemisphere.) His apron was bloodied several colors, a blond man with sunken nose and gray eyes. There were only white and red roses, on sale for 5 pesos but I needed yellow.I found another flower that was yellow. Music played on a tinny radio, Di Sarli.

As I was purchasing the flowers, the same woman from before now ran towards me breathing hurriedly that she had sent me in the wrong direction, I did not need to enter the cemetary-city to hail the bus. I had already bought the flowers, now needed to give them to the dead–I looked for a burial place without a cross or lacking any Christian symbols, I violently and cruelly refuse any Christian piety.

There was one unmarked stone, with arid earth–the others all had carefully clipped hedges, pictures of the smiling old deceased with their pets, nightingales and puppy-dogs.

Today I know I offered flowers to the grave of a thief, a despised man who stole from the innocent and hard-earning.

 Leaning over to rest the yellow flowers, my cell-phone, wallet and sunglasses fell onto his dirt as if a magnetic wind with hooks had drawn them, they were sucked in by an arid and thirsty unseen Charibydis interested only in fleecing me. I picked up my

little jewels and gadgetries of convenience, I forgave him–I would not be so arrogant as to forgive him for his life of theft, why should I? Why try to redeem anyone, to correct a dead master’s art work? I forgave his dead magnetism for trying to greedily snap up my cellphone and wallet. He obviously didn’t get enough love or attention compared to the other graves with their fine trimmed hedges.

I walked away, paused for a moment of introspection, left. I was late for my appointment.

Mr Florero asked me where I am from when I asked directions on the way out.

I said Aruba, then had to explain that it is in the Caribbean, near Surinam, but that my family origins are from Eastern Europe–I left out the part about my dead father from Buenos Aires (and the article in the national newspaper Clarin by Laura Ramos about how I celebrated his death)

The plant-seller’s face lit up pleased, “where in Eastern Europe?”

“My mother was half Polish and half Siberian”

“Ah,” he nodded, “I am part Hungarian, part Czech, a little bit of German!”

“I can tell”

On the bus they were mostly Incan looking, Peruvian immigrants, a poor neighborhood, I exited and corn, maize sheaves were on sale on the mat of a street hawker, 4 ears for 10 pesos, a steal.

 (end blog post 1)

 ************

(blog post 2)

Why did I not tell the florero of my Argentinean father? It was more interesting in the end to hear his tongue searching for Czescho-slovak and Hungarian roots (does he know Czechoslovakia ceased to exist?)

This morning it all makes me think of this poem I like by Amiri Baraka about his experience of a journey to his native lands:

Notes For a Speech

African blues
does not know me. Their steps, in sands
of their own
land. A country
in black & white, newspapers
blown down pavements
of the world. Does
not feel
what I am.

Strength

in the dream, an oblique
suckling of nerve, the wind
throws up sand, eyes
are something locked in
hate, of hate, of hate, to
walk abroad, they conduct
their deaths apart
from my own. Those
heads, I call
my “people.”

(And who are they. People. To concern

myself, ugly man. Who
you, to concern
the white flat stomachs
of maidens, inside houses
dying. Black. Peeled moon
light on my fingers
move under
her clothes. Where
is her husband. Black
words throw up sand
to eyes, fingers of
their private dead. Whose
soul, eyes, in sand. My color
is not theirs. Lighter, white man
talk. They shy away. My own
dead souls, my, so called
people. Africa
is a foreign place. You are
as any other sad man here
american.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Today I put yellow flowers on the grave of a thief who needed love, this made me late for my appointment.

  1. Wonderful story! and wonderfully written. I love how you wanted to give this unloved man love. How your ¨convenient gadgetries¨ seemed to be sucked in by the magnetic force of this thief…even after his death. How you left out the part about your father, speaks also of perhaps his lack of attention to your overgrown hedges… and (despite your crusty demeanour) of your own passion and vulnerability.

    Like

  2. Thank you Antonia for the kind comments

    Like

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