I mentioned earlier in my posts, which I'm sure you're all read up on, that as a flower delivery professional, I sometimes get a peek into complete stranger's lives. Sometimes it's more than a peek, sometimes it's a panoramic view. On one such occasion, I had a very simple delivery to someone on the middle East Side of Manhattan. The delivery was a humble offering, nothing too overtly romantic or histrionic, just your beautifully arranged Calla Lilies and Tulips; an effectively modest design of flowers that says "I'm thinking of you." The card, which I had printed out was equally low-keyed and warmly stated: "I will always be there for you. Always."
I rang the buzzer on the destination and a young woman answered the door, her eyes red and swollen and her general demeanor seemed as though she had just been run through an emotional blender. I handed her the vase of flowers and she looked at me as though she were portraying Blanche DuBois and I the paperboy in a Streetcar Named Desire; it was a mix of confusion, hope and utter despair. She invited me in and wandered around to the kitchen where she poured a glass of water and handed it to me. I didn't ask for a glass of water, but I wasn't about to start pointing out symptoms of her unraveling mind, so I happily accepted her generous gift and drank it down while she looked at me with a penetrating stare.
She sat on the couch and gazed at some point in the future and it was then that I noticed that her living room looked as though she had not been outside in several days. Pizza boxes, soda and beer cans, magazines and newspapers seemed to compete with each other to take up the most floor space. What I can only guess was a pair of sweat pants, even too soiled for someone as seemingly depressed as this woman, was balled up and now being used as a pillow. I put the flowers on the table in front of her and she gave me a far off look before asking whom the flowers were from. I told her there was no name on the card and handed it to her gently. She opened it up and began to cry. But these were not the tears of someone who was broken, in fact, they were tears one has after running a marathon. It was the rain after a long dry heatwave. She thanked me the way someone thanks the captain of a boat who saves them after being lost at sea in a life raft for weeks. This woman then asked me what it was like outside and I told her it was unseasonably warm. She smiled with an inner relief and I knew I had just seen someone saved from the brink.