She carries a plastic vase of lilies in her arm wherever she goes. A large, faded bow is tied around the vase. At first, I thought she was selling the lilies, like the women you sometimes encounter at bars selling roses. (I never liked receiving roses while I was out socializing. I never quite knew what to do with them. With no water, I’d be forced to carry the thorny stem around all evening, watching it wilt and die.) But she only places them on the table in front of her. Always grinning that knowing smile.
Lilly fills my imagination. Are all the rooms of her house filled with lilies? (Does she have a house?) Did she pluck the lilies off a loved one’s grave? (I always think of them as funeral flowers.) Does she smell like lilies? Does a longtime lover, perhaps her childhood sweetheart, buy her the flowers each week? Maybe she under the care of a psychiatric professional, or maybe she is being cared for by her grown children.
They say that smell is one of the strongest triggers of memory. What memory does the smell of her flowers evoke?