Tuesday, July 27, 2004
This morning, as I walked north down the cobblestone path across the
University of Chicago's Main Quad
toward the Administration Building, next to the landscaping groundcover I spotted a tipped-over Barilla spaghetti-sauce jar, with a small quantity of water inside. Three florist-wrapped purple irises were inside the jar, laying on the ground.
The first time I walked by, I didn't take the time to right the jar. I felt self-conscious because of the passers-by (none of whom seemed to notice the odd jar), and I didn't want anyone to think I was the person who had left it there in the busy path.
The second time, as I was returning from my little errand I noticed the flower jar was still tipped over. I set it upright next to the lamp post, and noticed a white adhesive label attached to the plastic wrapper, but I didn't take the time to read it. However, something about the scene stuck in my mind.
When I was about a dozen steps away, I turned around and walked back to see what the label said. I stopped short when I saw the pale bluish script streaked from last night's rain, the round, youthful handwriting nearly the same shade as the slightly wilted flowers:
For the Dead Girl