Today I was at the Magnolia Bar bar with my friend. She had plucked a blossom out of a tree and stuck it in her hair while we were playing at the park. The flower didn’t smell very good, so I rubbed my perfume on it to make her happier. Eventually she left to go to the bathroom, and I was left watching her belongings. While I waited, I struck up a conversation with the attractive (enough) young man next to me, he had cafe au lait skin and round eyes, with an attractive flair of exoticism and the hybrid vigor of tawny island people and their conquerors. It’s a homey bar, so random conversation is fair enough.
“Hey,” I ventured, holding forth the delicate petal, “smell this.”
I rolled my eyes. The bar wasn’t loud. “Smell this. I put my perfume on it. It smells good,” I held the pale leaf closer to him.
He took it between his thin fingers and inhaled deeply and smiled, then tucked the petal into his wallet without asking permission. I thought it was odd and I wasn’t sure if I was comfortable with him keeping a Spooky Sachet on his person, but it was gone to me now, so I let it go. She came back and over an hour went by, and my friend and I talked about graphic novels with the gregarious bartender. Soon, I looked into my purse to check the time. I have to work early tomorrow. As I searched my purse for my cell phone, I felt a tap on the shoulder.
“Thank you,” said the young man I’d spoken to. He was standing close enough to touch me. His clothes touched mine.
“Thank you for what?” I asked earnestly, edging away.
“For the flower.”
“Oh, you’re welcome.”
Then he walked away and out the door. He hadn’t spoken to anybody but me the whole time he’d been in the bar.
Is it just me…. or is that really weird? Maybe the conversation isn’t so weird, but the general feeling of the exchange had a certain uncalled-for gravitas.