Written for Ron B. Originally posted October 31, 2014
Taylor Swift did not leave 3 dozen white roses on a park bench on the upper west side within 20 feet of the 72nd Street Subway. I know this because I listened to Ms Swift discuss the merrits of the 24/7 Bodega, and while she did mention that you *could* get just about anything you needed (not even remotely true), she failed to mention the proliferation of flowers just about any time of year. I might be wrong but I'm guessing Taylor has not been to a Bodega.
These are Bodega flowers. Three separate cellophane packages of one dozen white roses stripped of the clear, crackling light, with green snapping rubber bands, tied together in the end to make the one giant ball of 36, held like an over-sized child's posy or a bridal bouquet from the romantic era. The one we're in now. A bodega in NYC at 2 AM is possibly one of the most romantic places in the world.
Who makes a massive bouquet of white roses from bodega flowers? The receiver. Generally.
He sat on the bench by the 72nd Street Subway and performed surgery on the packaging with enough time to sit quietly and contemplate the evening. The flowers were for Matthew. The flowers were not for Matthew. The ball of white roses handed over at LIncoln Center is the grand gesture; too early in the relationship and fraught with landmines. Maybe if he'd just stuck with one package of twelve roses. Maybe a real florist. Not the point.
The roses aren't for Matthew, the roses are for him and this is a horribly painful revelation; this thing, to discover unmet and possibly unrealistic expectations that cover the gamut from maybe just not being patient to not being seen or choosing poorly. His feelings have been hurt and the evening hasn't even started.
The bodega flowers are left half in and half out of their plastic bodega bag on the stone bench; not given and not received but handled and felt all the same. And the beautiful, romantic man walks slowly toward Lincoln Center to meet a man called Matthew who may or may not be holding a handful of bodega flowers. Or something else. Or if not now, maybe sometime later.