Orlando Rose


Originally Posted May 16, 2005

A single rose rested on the hood of the 1997 Toyota. Placed there sometime the night before, it collected dew all morning long. It was a romantic gesture that accompanied a note under the windshieldwiper. I had done the same thing in 1992 to a foolish girl who had no direction. The results were not what I had intended. After dating for about six months, she wanted nothing more to do with me until a drunken dial after a party late that summer. (Once you get a taste of Paul's sweet loving, there is always a thirst for more.)

My car started on the first try as it has done on every attempt but one. A van met me at work with a few other people. We flew to Orlando and worked harder then any one other time during the year. Setting up the lighting, staging, workstations, and computers I drew on the experiences in theater and concerts where small teams could produce great results after several hours of labor. During the event my traditional tradeshow stance over ten hours daily and abundant ability to quickly connect with masses of people to make them happy, answer questions, and welcome them took over. After the six days of burning muscles, talking topics past any meaning, and the most sore heels in memory, we had to strike the event. Pack it all up, put it in cases, and send it away for another year. With a few bribes to truck drives and throwing boxes on to pallets we were finally done and flying back home to rest over the weekend, only to head back out the next week for another show.

Fourteen days later I park my car in the usual place and notice the Toyota across from me. The rose, now wilting and brown, still sits on the windshield with a note under the wiper blade. Has she walked everywhere? Is the car broken? Is she stuck in her apartment still waiting for a repair man to show? I am tempted to look. What does the note say? Is it an apology or a declaration of love? A joke? Maybe it's a reminder. If not for the desired party, but a reminderto me, that the heart wants what the heart wants. There is no deciding whom you are attracted to, or desire. Silly girls in 1992 don't decide that a rose will make anyone a better match for her. A flower on the hood of a Toyota, missed for two weeks will not makeup for any fight or argument, no matter how sweet the letter may be. It is in the heart from the first five minutes people meet, a sense of trust, of openness, caring, and forgiveness. You either have it there to build on, or it's not there at all.