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Fuchsia story © mmSeason 2008

Saturday 8 November 2008

AGONISING

© mmSeason 2008

The Bearded Lady suggested a fuchsia story and here it is. I await any reaction you have. Especially if you can suggest a better title – i haven’t used the original title ‘Agonising’ in the blog-post title, as i expect to change it when i eventually come up with one i think is any good. The Ferrett recently wrote about titles, their importance and what they should encompass, and he says what i mean. He quotes Neil Gaiman: ‘A good title has two meanings; one, when you read it at the beginning, and another meaning that’s illuminated when you get to the end. ‘Agonising’ doesn’t.

What on earth can I buy for a fuchsia? I’m open to your suggestions – please do make some. I have looked at shoulder bags, iPod accessories and decorative cache-pots but rejected them all. I thought about a pony. I even bought a rain hat, but gave it to my neighbour when I lost my nerve.

I wouldn’t be so indecisive if it mattered less. If we knew each other better or if impressions weren’t going to make difference in the long term, it would be easier.

The thing is, I do know what would make this fuchsia thoroughly happy but I don’t feel qualified to buy it. He really wants a new pair of ballet shoes. And that’s not the sort of thing anyone can choose for a person who has a clear idea of what they want.

He was still in bud when people started saying he had the looks to be a dancer, but no one expected it of him. His mother, my good friend Mab, didn’t push it – she had the sense to wait for his ideas to mature before talking as if it was a definite thing. But now he’s older it’s obvious that he has the stick-at-it as well as the talent and the wish. The hours he puts in! And we can all see now that it’s not just a whim.

He goes through shoes relatively fast and so he sticks with the basic style from the little shop in town. He has the one ‘nice’ pair for auditions. But he does deserve something special.

The Aspidistra I know would just pick any old pair and not worry about it, as long as they were pretty and didn’t clash with him. She’s not terribly sensitive. But I feel it’s important to get the right ones. I know what it’s like to have to be polite about a present that’s nearly but not exactly what you had your heart set on.

Maybe I’ll just find any old gift, to show willing, and explain the quandary I’ve been in. It’s the thought that counts. He won’t mind…

But that’s the trouble, I don’t know him well enough to be sure he won’t mind. He doesn’t know me well enough to express his disappointment. Or his resentment, if he feels offended.

We’re at such a delicate stage in our relationship. I would feel myself responsible if it all came to nothing between him and my beautiful Hebe. She’s so happy at the moment, so excited they’re about to commit. I’d hate anything to spoil it. I know I’m only a side issue in the decision – but he may be thinking it all hangs on how he and I hit it off.

It’s so difficult, isn’t it? We tend, we feed, train if appropriate, prune when we have to, but it’s not really up to us at all, is it? They develop and go their own way. Sometimes I think that once we’ve put the mulch around their roots, there’s nothing more within our power to do for good or ill.

…I think something neutral, this first year. I’ll get him a small trellis as an extra and let the main present be a National Garden Scheme gift voucher.

Or do you think that would send the wrong message?…

END

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One Comment leave one →
  1. thebeardedlady permalink
    Wednesday 12 November 2008 8.48 pm

    Lovely! I really like the strangeness of this – the metaphysical flower people. Fuschia is a great character. All your characters came across really nicely.

    Wasn’t sure about the last three paragraphs – seemed a bit like you were hammering the point home? But that’s my only criticism.

    Really liked this… nice one mand 🙂

    Thanx for this solid feedback. It’s so hard to tell if character works, in one’s own fiction. I’ll re-read when it’s less fresh and think about those final paragraphs – i may decide you’re right. 80)
    – mand

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