Felled By a Few Flowers

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In 1994, I had a memorable (or not-so-memorable) bout with mono that may have been the sickest I’ve been thus far in my life. The doped-up surreal journey of that experience, imbued by Rudyard Kipling’s ‘Kim’ which I was reading at the time, left me in much the same out-of-sorts condition from which I awoke on our third day in Ogunquit. Selfishly, I rejoiced that I could hear rain. It would be bearable if it rained and I was stuck inside. I wouldn’t miss it as much. I would’t mind so dearly.

It was with admittedly-childish dismay that the rain soon cleared, and the sun came out to torture me through the half-closed blinds. I was too upset to take much food, and nothing was agreeing with me anyway. The next couple of days passed thusly, my fall vacation in Maine sliding through my fingers, tantalizing glimpses of bright blue sky passing by the window as another day departed. Hints of flaming foliage fluttered in quiet, a gay pantomime of laughter that mocked my immobile state.

Eventually, I forced myself up, determined to make it out to our last dinner in town. I walked shakily past the entrance to the Marginal Way before arriving at dinner, but the lack of food for the previous few days, and the combined effects of such unprescribed pain-killers did not make for a dinner through which I could sit, and before my salad even arrived I had to head back to the bed and breakfast to climb into bed. The vacation was truly over.

Night closed upon me, and I let sleep come. There was nothing else to do. The next day we had to depart.

Here are a few more flower pics I managed to snap before my back went out. Looking at them, I wonder if it was worth it. The chance grab at capturing such beauty. Would it have been better to look from afar, to take them in and appreciate the moment without trying to still it, to steal it, to take a bit of it back? Or was this the reward of such beauty, the ransom for a ruined vacation? I haven’t decided yet…

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