Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Insult of Azaleas


I was prepared for ruin. Prepared for flower beds obliterated by neglect. This is what I would find, I feared, and knew how to cushions the blows.

I drove C and her husband to The Someone's house this morning to spare them hours of circling through L.A.s inefficient labyrinth of suburban mass transit. I pulled to the curb in front of the house next door, my view of the house where I once lived blocked by its garage. If I kept my gaze close, fixed on the people I was hugging good-bye, I wouldn't see rose bushes turned feral or thirsty trees beseeching the sky.

But what caught me off guard were clouds of white azaleas spreading over the once tidy walls, pure beauty, bright and startling, insulting me with how they've thrived in my absence.

6 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I hope you won't be offended, but fuck the azaleas. I've always thought them ridiculous, especially in southern California. They're EASY. SLUTTY.

Jules said...

They thrive due to the attention you gave them when they were younger.

Joan said...

No, turn it around. They are an exuberant, robust reminder that you were there. And an annual two-fingered salute to those who remain.

Ms. Moon said...

Azaleas are this side of wild.
But what I really want to say is- that was a lovely piece of writing.

Suz said...

I would have cried my heart out
...

Deb said...

Ouch. And what Joan said rocks.

I quit driving by my old house as well. I have no ex living there but the people who bought the house have let my lovely garden go to seed, literally. It is a mess and breaks my heart.