Flowers To-Go

This past weekend, I visited my boyfriend, Addis. One night, while Addis, Bryson (his friend) and I were walking around Dallas, a man walked up to us carrying a styrofoam to-go box. He was dressed in all blue, and you could see speckles of white in his hair and beard.

He asked us if we wanted a flower.

From there, he promptly opened the to-go box, and inside were several blooms. Some were recognizable, like sunflowers, and the others I didn’t know the names of. He handed a sunflower bloom to each of us, and I got an extra one – a honeysuckle bloom.

The flowers were small and fit in the palm of my hand. They looked so fresh, but I had no clue where he could have gotten them. Perhaps he plucked them from a nearby garden or maybe he has a secret place where he grows flowers for the sake of giving. That question never did get answered.

Just after giving us the flowers, the man continued to speak to us. He said, “I’m going to be honest with you. I am homeless, so if you could spare a couple pennies,
that would be much appreciated.” Whenever I run this moment over and over again in my head, I keep getting stuck on this one point. Only after giving us something did he ask for something in return – and pennies at that!

Earlier in the day, we were browsing the internet and stumbled upon the fact that Sylvester Stallone starred in a pornographic film before starring in Rocky. In an interview, he explained that he did the film because he was starving and that being starving made him do things he never thought he would.

That’s what makes me wonder. How is it that one starving man makes a porn film for extra cash while another gives away flowers under similar conditions? It truly boggles my mind. I’m not trying to judge Sylvester Stallone because I have no clue what I would do under those circumstances. Maybe I would do things that I never thought of doing for the sake of not being hungry. God only knows.

But what I do know is that this man gave out flowers despite everything going on in his world, and it touched my heart. This man’s name is Tony, or maybe it’s Toni.
(In my journalism class, my professor told us that we should always ask how to spell someone’s name. I’m still working on remembering that part.) Although I only saw
him for a few seconds, he has left this imprint on my mind. It is utterly amazing that this man has been able to have such an enormous impact on my mind and thoughts. And the best part is that he will probably never know how much two flower blooms has made me think.

Once we walked away far enough, I found a pot of flowers outside of a shop to give my blooms a proper home. That way they would replenish the soil below with nutrients for future plants to come whenever they start to decay, that they would give back once they reach the point that they’re not at their best.

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