A host of golden daffodils poked their head out of a black bin at the exit to the park. From a distance, they still seemed healthy, and as full of glee as Wordsworth’s. But there was no immediately discernible reason for the ignoble end they had been sentenced with. It’s unlikely the groundsman would have done it; he had his own bucket on his cart for weeds and fallen foliage. IT must have been a visitor to the park. But who? And why?
Was it a jilted lover, who eagerly ran to the park to meet his new love interest, only stopping to pick up a bunch of flowers at the supermarket? Was his woman nervously sitting straight-backed on a bench, feeling guilty at the pain she would cause him but remaining firm in her resolve? How long did the conversation take? Did he argue with her and try to make her stay with him, or did he accept it quietly because he knew himself they weren’t going to work together. Did he storm off, and plunge the flowers stems first into the bin opening in a semi-sub-conscious act of violent penetration? Or did she hurriedly walk off first as he sat in bewilderment, still clutching the bunch of flowers, which he would continue to do until he was brought back to reality by the slipstream of a latex-clad cyclist hurtling past?
Or maybe they were put there by the recipient. A woman fed up of her boyfriend’s lies, a boyfriend who had bought her the flowers to show how ‘sorry’ he was for his latest transgression, or the latest transgression she had found out about. Did she coyly accept them as he grinned at her, lying on his side on the grass beside her and propped up by his elbow? Grinning because he was so confident in the gullibility of females. Until the transgression phoned as they were having their first make-up kiss, and she got to the phone first to see the caller id. Leading to the scene they have every two weeks, where she tells him he’s a bastard and he swears he hasn’t even looked at another girl since he met her, but then turns to check out the jiggling breasts of the jogger passing by. At which stage she marches out of the park, with him in close pursuit, declaiming his innocence to the clear blue sky as she throws his peace offering in the bin. It only cost €4.99 anyway, and she’ll be in his arms in a couple of hours because she’s ‘mad about him’. In half an hour more, he’ll be between her legs, triumphant again. An hour after that he’ll be making arrangements with the transgression for their next meeting.
Or maybe they were picked by a same-sex couple, celebrating their new right to get married. Maybe the loving caretaking partner picked the flowers to present to the other with the proposal, and was gently reprimanded by the logical partner for destroying the public flowerbed. Or maybe it was a group of people, celebrating in the sun, who then realized they had a party to go to where the flowers wouldn’t make it in. Maybe they said farewell to the flowers, planting them in the stern, dirty rubbish receptacle the way hippies threaded flowers in the guns of state troopers? Or maybe, after the initial joy that had spurred them to pick the flowers had waned, they had realized the flowers were past their prime, with the petals crinkling at the edges or detaching entirely from the heads? Maybe the bin was the only option for daffodils in their dotage. This day was no day for wilting weeds – it was a day for shiny, fresh, vibrant happiness.
In the sobriety of the next workday morning, who would know who had put them there? They were just one of the remnants of the weekend’s freedoms, incongruous now amongst the takeaway coffees and the business suits. But, like all the remnants, they reminded people of their own highlights from the weekend just gone and beckoned towards the light of the weekend to come, and for a brief moment, their hearts with pleasure fill, and dance with the daffodils.