there were [more] roses

May 9, 2006

I stole a rose. Ok, so maybe I stole 2 roses. On a slightly different running route, I passed a yard that I hadn’t seen up close before. The house itself was tucked back almost out of view, and when I looked more closely I saw a house that appeared to be at best run-down, at worst condemned. But the roses . . .oh, the glorious roses!—and the same blush-pink brimming sort of bush that had drawn me back in my “there were roses” days, in my old house. And I knew I had to steal a rose . . . There are so many . . . and maybe no one lives here . . . maybe the house is actually condemned . . .
The only problem for my theft was that the rose bush was right next to the road. So as I bent to start picking a rose, I heard an approaching vehicle. I shot back up and began to innocently jog in place. Looking perfectly inconspicuous no doubt: jogging in place, next to a main road, in front of a rose bush . . . You know. The kind of thing folks do all the time.
The car passed. I resumed my theft. And a few thorn-pricks and briar-scratches later, another engine hum reached my ears. This time I thought more quickly and ran forward rather than in place, presumably maintaining a better air of innocence.
The car passed. I jogged backwards [thus primed for innocent forward-running should another car come]. This time I successfully picked a bloom—then a second.
Returning home, I began to feel rather guilt-ridden—until a flash of inspiration showed me the perfect act of penance:
I printed out a copy of my “there were roses” story [see 11/7/2004 post in archives], folded it, and on the outside wrote this note:

Dear Neighbor,
Passing your lovely rose bush for the first time, I was struck by its beauty. It reminded me of this story, so I am offering you the tale now.
Thank you for adding a bit of beauty to the world.

I sort of neglected to mention the fact that I had actually taken 2 blooms. But what I decided was that offering an amusing story to them would be a way of thanking them without potentially angering them [if in fact someone does live there].

And there you have it—my confession to the world, or at least to one little blogging corner of my little world :-)

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