STORY – Flowers and Thieves

People have been trying to steal the flower box outside my house.

There used to be a flower box set outside my window ledge facing the street where pedestrians pass. It was long and it was full of pretty things. Indeed, the point was to pretty up the neighborhood. But some passing people would pluck out the flowers, roots and all for, one imagines, their own home use, leaving gaping holes. I replanted the missing flowers with just basic leafy greenery reducing the plucking thievery, making it, one would think, no longer such an attractive steal. But someone was not happy with this solution. One deep night someone or a couple of someones pulled the flower box off the ledge and it free fell to the sidewalk where it fractured, splitting in half. It was discovered the next morning, dirt spread across the pavement, people stepping over it like some new obstruction that’s none of their business. So one cleans up and disposes but does not give up, damn it. One puts out a pentagon cement box full of tight smiling flowers right on the sidewalk, right next to the front door, insisting on bringing a little damn cheer to this damn neighborhood. Still, still, unknown people pluck at it, as though trying out pick-pocketing skills on the inert and attractive. So, sinking to their level, getting crafty, I planted some wall-aimed though hidden sticks usually used for skewering meat, deep in the ground, sharp points behind the leaves, so when an evil hand reaches in to thieve a plant by its roots, they get their greedy little fingers and/or palms jabbed. As a result, becoming frustrated and lightly wounded, they now kick at the cement box by my front door, jarring it out of its snug place. Every morning I put it back in its place, defiant, determined. They leave coke cans in it. Sometimes cigarette butts. Plastic wrappers. Last week someone laid a steel portion of a shower pole across it. Some foolish one actually tried to take the whole heavy flower container last week. But it had been tied to a steal horseshoe shaped shoe scraper embedded near the front door, left from the days when this city street was part of the outlying fields (I don’t live on rue de l’Agriculture for nothing). But when these determined plant robbers lifted it, the two wires encircling the box held it secure, so they could only get it off a ground a tiny bit. They must have jerked at it, hoping brute ignorance would help, and it wouldn’t give because I’m smarter and so it slipped from their grip (or they just gave up) and it fell to the sidewalk, yet, a sturdy construction, it did not crack and smash. It was left right in the middle of the sidewalk as the unsuccessful thieves drifted back into their empty-handed night.

Yesterday, someone tied across my front door some plastic police tape that had “Police” stamped repeatedly in black on yellow, the kind of official narrow strip found at crime scenes or accidents, to seal off the area from a curious public. It was tied at a slant right across the bars protecting the window of the front door, with some excess tape stuffed firmly in the keyhole, blocking my ability to lock or unlock my door to the world outside.

The flowers now look nervously up and down the street to see who or what might be coming next. A sensation of paranoia has begun seeping in from the flowers outside to the life within. The next assault is awaited….

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One Response to “STORY – Flowers and Thieves”

  1. leemans says:

    Vincent and the battle for flowers: maybe also put in some thistles?

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