I miss the flowers. Don't you wish you could go back to a time when you read your newspaper, the one with ink on it, that turned your fingers black, with your cup of hot coffee in one hand and your cat traipsing back and forth across the portion sitting on your table, rubbing against the section you are holding up and trying to read? And then just when you get to the part of the story where you have to switch over to section 11A, where you are going to find out the details of that love-triangle-triple murder, the one with blood everywhere, a woman stabbed thirteen times, a loverboy with an axe stuck in his forehead, and an estranged husband on the floor no longer breathing due to a frying pan with what had been sizzling oil, in his face and the unfortunate way he landed on a salad fork that was sticking straight up in that pile of silverware, because that drawer was spilled a little earlier, and your sweet little kitty-cat, pops her fuzzy little face to the inside of your newspaper and you can clearly see that she is going make a kink in it, which will make it a struggle to turn over to 11A, without refolding a map, so to speak. So you try to catch it before that happens. But in doing so your java lands in your crotch and you not only have to wait until the six o'clock news to hear what all happened over there on Craig Street, you are going to have to change your gauze again. God I miss those days. I miss reading about all those late night bar time stabbings in the parking lots. I liked it when three K's were lined up next to each other on poster boards at baseball games and when people gasped when they saw three K's lined up for any other reason. I miss the days when kids who didn't fit in at school, pierced their tongues, got satanic tattoos, pulled a couple of fire alarms and joined heavy metal bands. Or when they took care of their grudges like Carrie did in her scary movie. Remember when that truck that jumped the curb and slid into a crowd lined up at that hot dog stand, killing a family of four, was just because some jack-ass had too much to drink and he fell asleep behind the wheel? Remember when Pulp Fiction was shocking? My sister-in-law had her head in my other sister-in-law's lap in the theater. But that is another story. Remember when Dirty Harry was the only guy you knew who owned a Magnum forty-four? And when you played army and you made the pretend machine gun sound? "A-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a." Gone are all those happy go lucky days. Now everybody has a real gun. They don't necessarily squint their pretty eyes, wear Mexican ponchos and say things like, "Make my day," with an awesome theme song playing in the background. Even my sweet Sven has that old twenty-two that he shot out the window with. But he'd better not have any bullets. I am going to have to rely on some cowboy to ride in on a horse to save my ass if it comes down to it. Or maybe just a neighbor kid. Because I don't want a gun. I would not be gun savvy. You see, I have a quick, hot, temper. It comes with no warning. I can go for days and days in a row that I run into Sven's saw dust covered yellow gloves all over the house, dirty dishes sitting next to the sink and smelly socks leaning up against the clothes chute, without getting upset. I don't even notice these little things. I just whistle away and put it all away. And then one day, out of the blue, I will be taking groceries out of the car and I will open the closet door to stick another emptied plastic bag into the overflowing plastic bag that is hanging there and I will stuff in just one more, again, all the while trying not to notice the spilled dog food nuggets that I am standing on. And then I will go over to the sink and glance out the spotted window with a cobweb on the left bottom corner as I rinse off a spoon with peanut butter stuck to it and a couple of plates, so they can go in the dishwasher, but then I see that the dishwasher is full of clean, dry dishes. So, I start to pull them out, but, I got no room on the counter to stack and sort them because I just set the groceries there. And then the phone rings. I hate phones. Phones make me cringe. And just as I pick up the ringing bastard, it goes into voicemail. And then I turn around and I spot another yellow glove covered in freaking sawdust, sitting on the coffee table, on top of a bunch of papers. That is when I come unglued. With absolutely no warning. If Sven were to walk in the door at that exact moment and I had been hanging out with Clint earlier and he would have forgotten his pistol there on my couch, I would pick it up and pull the God damn trigger. Because they say that a person has seven seconds of insanity when they become upset. I have not added up all of my seconds of insanity and transformed them into hours or possibly even days. Because I have no tolerance for math. So I am not planning on doing it. But it has accumulated into a lot of nutty times. And you know, Sven says that if you shoot somebody it totally ruins your reputation. He says that it's not really fair either because they only focus on that one bad day you were having and that one bad decision you make rather than all the other good days you may have had and all of the millions of people that you did not kill. One day, back in the good old days, before all the flowers disappeared, I was in a grocery store. It was just before the winter holidays. There was a very pretty display of champagne bottles set up for New Year's Eve at the last aisle before checking out. It was a pyramid. A pretty pyramid made of champagne bottles. All stacked up real nice. Until a woman bumped into the bottle on the bottom right hand corner with the right front wheel of her cart causing the great champagne domino effect of the nineties. Basically about twenty shots were fired. There was a lot of white spray and foam and bubbles. And screaming. And you know what else? Everybody laughed. As a matter of fact, people were doubled over with laughter. People are still telling the story. If that were to happen today? We'd probably been saved by some well meaning, skittle hating, vigilante with a concealed weapon. So, only a few lives would have been lost. "You know what Louisa?" "What?" "I mostly miss all the pretty flowers." "There still are pretty flowers." "There are?" "Yeah. You just have to look for them."