Category Archives: Original Compositions

Convenience

Sometimes, love just doesn’t work out. No matter what we do, it just escapes our grasp. It’s always hard to hang on when the other wants to let go, when the other just wants to slip away like water in between our fingers like rain that just falls naturally, conveniently, which is what this poem is called.

Convenience

How convenient
that the rain fell
before your tears,
affording me to share
one last moment
with you under
my umbrella.

Every drop
of frigid rain
taunted you to stay
under my tempting
warmth and dryness.

Your vain effort to stop
the rain from falling:

you reached out
to catch a drop
on your palm.

It still fell. Heavy
embodiment of sorrow

of loss

– of the cloud
that failed
to hold on,

– of the wind
unable
to return the drops.

Words condensed on my lips,
waiting for that moment
when air gives way
to thunder.

How convenient
That the rain
lingered on. Every word
that rolled off my tongue
merely fell into the dark
glassy puddle
that the rain filled
to reflect my bowed head.

Finally, I poured a plead
to make you stay.

You nearly did,
But conveniently,
the rain
wandered away.

Originally written on August 5th, 2003 and revised last on September 20th, 2008, this is the — hopefully — final version of it. This is for people who — like me — are loveless this Valentine’s Day.

Waiting

Yesterday, it was all about the aphids. Kristoff saw them sucking the life out of a rosebush near the train station. There were clumps of them – white, fluffy clumps of sap-sucking aphids preying on the life juices of the rose bush. Then, Kristoff saw that there were also ladybugs on the rose bush. The red and black beetles were feasting on the sorry, little botanical vampires. It made him smile; somehow, he knew that the rosebush will be right as rain, and he got off the bench that he was sitting on to head back home.

Last Friday, Kristoff thought that the bench near the train station was rather uncomfortable, and he thought that he couldn’t bear sitting on it anymore. Every time he sat on it, the hole where a nail should have been seemed to suck in his skin and make the bottom of his pelvic bone chafe onto the wood. It felt abrasive and raw. He would not have continued sitting there if not for the doves that flocked in front of the train station, swarming at bread crumbs and the French toast that he has thrown on the black and grey pavement to keep most of the birds cooing near where he waited. The cooing made him feel impervious to the irritation that waiting caused him, bringing him back to a time where all he needed to hear was the sound of Taylor’s giggles.

“Ummm, that’s so sweet of you, Kristoff,” he recalled what Taylor had said as he was handing her a bouquet of roses – a going-away present to wish her luck in her studies in Milan.

“Well, what can I say? I want you to remember what you’ll be missing for four years. Are you sure that you can’t just study here? We have good universities here, too, you know?”

“Oh come on, Kristoff. It’s only four years,” the memory of Taylor in Kristoff’s head went on. “I thought that we are through this? I promise that I’ll come back to you as soon as possible. I’ll come back to you even if I were already in a coffin lined with satin and gilded with roses.” He thought that she was always morbid.

“Don’t say things like that. It’s creeping me out.”

“What!?! If I die, I want to be buried in a coffin with silver roses as decoration. That’s why you love me. You love my attention for detail! Hahaha!” she joked. “But promise me that you’ll wait for me, ok?”

“Do I even have to? You know that I will. I will wait for you here every day if I have to.”

With mischief in her eyes, she said, “I’ll hold you to it.”

Then, instead of the deep, rumbling of iron train wheels, the sound of flapping wings shook him back to reality. Kristoff let out a deep sigh as the memory faded away. He got up, and headed for home when the last of the sunshine followed the lead of the evanescing thought.

Last month, Kristoff noticed that the street lamps went on at exactly 5:57 PM. He wouldn’t have noticed if not for his cellular phone sounding an alarm. He had set an alarm for that exact time because he had an appointment to keep with Mr. Lathenbaum, the store keeper of the bookstore right beside the station. He had a book from Africa for Kristoff.

“What a chilly evening to you, young fella,” Mr. Lathenbaum said as he was hauling some boxes full of books inside his store when they first spoke to each other back in November.

“Good evening to you, too, sir,” answered Kristoff. “That’s a mighty big box of books you’re hauling there. Do you need any help?” offered Kristoff in all earnest.

Hesitating but feeling his aching back due to arthritis, the old man answered, “I don’t want to bother you. It seems that you’re waiting for someone, but these books are really doing a good job of following the law of gravity.”

“No, I insist, sir.”

“All right. If you insist. The name’s Lathenbaum, Lysander Lathenbaum, bibliophile extraordinaire!”

Without any second thoughts, Kristoff took the box from the old bibliophile and asked, “It’s nice meeting you, Mr. Lathenbaum. Kristoff Jones at your service. Where do you want these to go?”

“Would you kindly put that on the counter? And for your trouble, we’ll guzzle down some vodka.”

Bashfully, Kristoff obliged. Mr. Lathenbaum realized that he always saw Kristoff on the same crummy bench, which he also absolutely disdained for those nails that stuck out. As he was pouring the vodka, he asked,

“What are you doing there in the cold, young man? Oh, youth! Good thing you can still enjoy a crisp evening, so savor it while you can. You see, when you get as old as I am, your bones will not be comfortable with each other. It seems that in my case, my backbones have argued, and now, they’re fighting each other. Oh, flabberfruits! I’m prattling. Where was I? Ah, yes, what are you doing there sitting in the cold?”

“I’m waiting for a special friend.”

“A lady friend?”

“You’re still sharp. You’re not as old as you think,” Kristoff chided.

That evening, Mr. Lathenbaum learnt of Kristoff, Taylor, and the tryst that should have happened a year ago. Since they weren’t strangers anymore, Kristoff always made it a point to say good afternoon to his elderly acquaintance before he sat patiently on his waiting bench. And as such, the two acquaintances became friends. Just like that, Mr. Lathenbaum came to know that Kristoff was looking for a book about Anansi and other African legends.

That month, Kristoff was accompanied by the tales of Anansi, the wise, mischievous spider from Africa. He was so amused of Anansi and the adventures that he totally forgot the alarm that he set. On the next day, it sounded again, and magically, the street lamps went aglow.

“Coincidence?” Kristoff wondered, so he didn’t put out the alarm on his cellular; for a week, he monitored, and for a week, the street lamps never failed him. They all went on at exactly 5:57 in the afternoon with our without darkness.

A few months back, maybe four or five, Kristoff noticed that the bench paint was wearing out. It was wearing out on the left side, the side where Kristoff took out a nasty nail with its exposed head irritating Kristoff’s behind. With pliers that he took out of his tool shed because of sheer irritation, he awkwardly tried to pry out that dastardly nail out of the wood, trying his best not to attract the crowds that poured in and out of the train station. With all his effort, he was able to succeed in taking out the nail, but to his surprise, the hole left by the nail on the wood didn’t make it comfortable in any way.

After pulling that nail out, Kristoff’s waiting bench offered him a dilemma – to sit on the right side where there was another nail sticking its head out to irritate those who unwittingly sit on it or to sit on the left side where there’s a vindictive hole on the wood that is Kristoff’s punishment for tampering with the bench. In the end, Kristoff decided to own up to his actions, be a man, and accept his punishment. He always sat on the left side of that bench ever since. With the help of the doves, he was able to tune out of the irritation, and wait patiently. He just noticed the fading paint because he had to avoid some bird droppings that landed on his usual seat.

However, today, Kristoff didn’t leave the bench anymore. He didn’t say hello to Mr. Lathenbaum. He didn’t feed the doves that kept him company. He didn’t draw close enough to notice if the ladybugs have eaten all of the aphids off of the rose bush. He wasn’t even able to stand up from the train station bench that was especially painful on his buttocks.

He just sat there staring with the help of the flickering 5:57 street lights, staring at a telegram he was holding. It read:

Dear Kristoff,

Guess who’s finally coming home at 5:30 PM, March 18? Train station. Don’t be late.

All my love,
Taylor

“I am not late, but where are you?” he asked as though Taylor was standing right in front of him.
Earlier this morning, this telegram made him run to his kitchen and cook an especially hearty breakfast. He cooked a cheese omelet, toasted some bread, and indulged on cottage cheese. Then, he prepared for work, and he took some changing clothes excitedly out from his closet. He folded them nicely to avoid roughing them up for this much awaited reunion. When he was ready, he dashed down the staircase, side-tripped to the kitchen, and snatched the two telegrams that he fished out of the mailbox.

With giant but gleeful strides, he sped out the door. He made quick work of his lawn, reaching the sidewalk in only three seconds when it usually took him a minute to get there. With briefcase in hand, heavy with paperwork and clothes, he fumbled for his keys to lock his gridiron gate.

The day went so fast that he forgot to read the other telegram until he got to the bench. He got there at 5:28 PM. He sat patiently until 5:30, but when 5:31 came, he was fidgeting. He took out Taylor’s telegram to pass away the time. He looked at it until he couldn’t see the letters anymore. He was thankful when 5:57 came; with the aid of the street lights, he’ll be able to read the telegram again.

As he was holding the piece of paper, he realized that he hasn’t read the other telegram, so he took it out. After reading, the street lamp beside him seemed to have read the telegram, and its light flickered. He couldn’t tell if the lights dimmed, or if he blacked out. All he wasn’t able to read the entirety of the message, but he got the message clear. He should be at the train station at 6:00 PM to meet a white mahogany box lined with satin and gilded with silver roses.

An Ivory Shard, Germaine, and a Tennis Racket

Up on the Ivory Tower that stood solidly on top of the tallest mountain on the top of the world, the Little Boy was still fuming against heaven for that painful lesson about gravity in the The Ivory Shards when he heard a girl cry in anger. He was clutching the ivory shard that struck him in the head when, suddenly, a tennis racket went into view and fell down again, which piqued the interest of the Little Boy. Curious to see who threw it high enough to come into his horizon, the Little Boy investigated and followed the racket’s descent.

The racket fell back into Germaine’s skilled hands. She was the person who was able to throw a tennis racket so high in the air. She was a high school student of Tokyo Gakkan Urayasu High School. She was part of the school’s tennis varsity team. She was part of the Honors Class. Most of all, she was the almost most popular girl in school with her blonde hair, big, wide eyes, and high grades.

She threw the racket in the air out of frustration with Judy, the most popular girl in school. Judy was also part of the tennis varsity. In fact, she was the captain for the women’s team. She had short sassy hair, a smile that shimmered with stars, and even higher grades than Germaine. Everyone loved her, especially Tezuka, the team captain of the tennis team, the most popular boy in school, and the love of Germaine’s life.

It seemed to Germaine that no matter what she did, she always successfully stood second best. In home economics class, she baked a strawberry sponge cake for Tezuka, but he ate Judy’s plain chocolate cake instead. After the finals week of their second year in junior high, she saw her name labelled number 2 in small, black letters while Judy’s name was highlighted in big, red, bold letters. Most of all, she was the best friend of Tezuka; Tezuka’s girlfriend was Judy.

After about 30 minutes of waiting for the tennis racket to land back in her hands, Germaine thought that she should go home, but Judy went into the tennis court. As she was heading towards the court gates, she saw it swing open to reveal Judy, smiling and walking with that swaying, sassy hair of hers. “Yo! Germaine-chan! Would you like to play a game before you go home?” Judy asked. “Uh, but…” Germaine stuttered as Judy dragged her to one side of the court.

With the same tennis racket in her hands, Germaine was forced to play. As luck would have it, Tezuka wandered in the court and offered to referee the match. With the love of her life in sight, Germaine felt fired up. Yes! She would play. Yes! She would show Judy that she can win, even just one unofficial game. Most of all, yes, she will impress Tezuka with her awe-inspiring backhand and forehand smashes, which she thought would be enough for him to dump Judy and ask her to be his girlfriend.

As the whistle wailed across the court, Germaine motioned to serve. Spuck! Spuck! That was the only sound that Germaine could hear. She was so intent to beat Judy, smiling, giggling, and shimmering with stars as she returned each smash that Germaine sent to her. After 20 minutes, Germaine had a point-break opportunity. She only needed to score one more point, and she will beat Judy for the first time in Tokyo Gakkan Urayasu High School’s history.

As the Little Boy, looking down intently from the Ivory Tower, gazed at Germaine’s determination and desperation, he heard Germaine’s thoughts: “If I could just win this match, I’d be happier. God, please, anyone! If you can hear me, I wish to win this match at any cost.” Because of the desperation, the intensity, and the sincerity of this one wish, the Little Boy felt some compassion for Germaine. He wanted to help the girl who had the ability to grab his interest. As he was still holding the ivory shard, he thought that maybe, he can sabotage Judy and make her lose the match. With this thought in mind, he went over to the edge of the balcony of the Ivory Tower. Using his knowledge of vertical motion, gravity, and trajectory, he threw the ivory shard down so that it would land on Judy’s side of the court. He was hoping that Judy would step on it, slip, and fail to return one of Germaine’s smashes.

Down the ivory shard flew. It fell fast and furiously towards the next spot where Judy was supposed to put her foot down. The Little Boy’s aim was true this time; unlike what happened with Amaris and the Paper Airplane Prophecy, his ivory shard struck where it was supposed to strike. However, he failed to figure in the bounce of the turf used in lawn tennis courts. The fake green grass had a bounce to it that made the ivory shard bounce towards Germaine’s next stepping ground. With an inaudible thud, it slipped under Germaine’s tennis shoes, rolled a few centimeters, and made her lose her balance. What a sight it made! As Germaine was turning in midair, one of her shoes came off, flew up in the air, met with the eyes of the Little Boy, and fell back to earth. When the little shoe fell down, almost 30 minutes has already gone by. Germaine was already at the hospital with a broken neck, a fractured dream, and a smashed spirit. The doctors told her that she can never play tennis ever again.

With this new blunder, the Little Boy started to regret helping Germaine. Now, he can never see a tennis racket fly so high up in the air that it could reach the windows of his Ivory Tower. As he lost interest, he turned his gaze away and retired into his tower that was on top of the tallest mountain on the top of the world.

Obliteration

A boy drove up to his town’s welcome sign. He stood on the hood of his car and started scratching out the letter C until a cop arrived.

“What’re ya doin’, son?” the cop asked.

“I’m trying to obliterate this town quietly,” the boy answered calmly.

While scratching his head, the cop asked another question, “An’ why’d ya wanna do that?”

“Aren’t you tired of catching the same criminals over and over and over again?”

The cop scowled and asked the boy to get off the car. Then, he climbed onto the hood and started scratching on the letter H.

The Ivory Shards

On top of the Ivory Tower atop the tallest mountain on top of the World, the master of the tower cursed and shouted towards the heaven out of frustration for his incarceration. He demanded for his release or, at the very least, an audience with the Sun or Moon. When he did not hear any replies, even the smallest hint of reproachful remark, he decided to be more physical about his protest. With the art of Taekwondo, he kicked a post in the balcony and was able to chip a small shard of ivory. “Ammunition,” he thought to himself. Then, with a full run, a half-turn, and a spinning side kick, he launched the shard straight up to heaven.

Sadly for the Little Boy, he did this regrettable act in broad daylight — the time when the eye of the Sun was upon him. Seeing this horrendous and, yet again, blasphemous act, the Sun squinted with righteous indignation to produce a beam — a tiny beam that amounted to laser light. Though successful in channeling the concentrated energy of light onto a pinpoint on the ivory projectile, the Sun didn’t hit it entirely. It only managed to bore a hole on the piece of ivory.

As the master of the winds, he commanded them to try and blow the still-flying piece of ivory away. Again, he was successful in making the winds blow the ivory projectile, but it only caused it to shift a bit off course and straight into the direction of a window of heaven.

Seeing this minor blunder, the Sun caused the Winds to whirl and rub against themselves. This act, by far, seemed to be the most cunning act of the Sun in preventing harm from coming towards heaven. As the winds rubbed against each other, they managed to create a force so strong. Through friction and static energy, the winds crackled and hummed with electricity. The Sun didn’t want to fail so he waited cautiously. With only one eye, he wanted his electric bolt to hit its mark and save Heaven’s window from cracking. At the very last minute, he released the the static energy into a lightning bolt.

This time, the Sun was able to hit the piece of ivory flung by the Little Boy but not enough to totally destroy it. It got shattered into tiny specs of ivory and got blown in the wind. However, a sizable bit — the size of a prune — continued its course. With a clink on the glass of heaven’s window, it bounced off and down again, straight back in the direction of the Little Boy.

Although he was not entirely successful in stopping the ivory shard, he was victorious in protecting heaven. As for the boy, although not entirely successful in breaking anything in heaven’s dominion, he was successful in getting heaven to notice him. From the window that was tapped by the ivory piece, an angel spoke. The angel said, “Little Boy, Master of the Ivory Tower, oh most notorious neighbor, please desist in daring heaven. Heaven, with all it’s wisdom, might, and potential, has plans for you. Be patient and you will be purged of your punishment. Be hasty and spiteful and you shall see that heaven can put down a more repugnant lesson to reckon with. For now, heaven will just teach you about gravity.” Then, the angel closed the window and fell silent once more.

Hearing those words, the Sun beamed in bliss. Hearing those words, the Little Boy grew more angry. “Bah! Teach me gravity? Who do they think they are? I know all about gravity,” said the Little Boy. “In a nutshell, what…” and before he could finish his simple-minded definition, the small, prune-sized ivory shard thumped on his head, left a bit of a bump on his temple, and fell down towards the earth. “… goes up must come down,” he grumbled just to hold up a bit of defiance. With the final words spoken, he went in the tower.

Now, what of the ivory shards? What ever did happen to those that got blown in the wind? What happened to that prune-sized shard that was able to tap on Heaven’s door? As the angel said, there is a lesson here to learn about gravity. Those shards fell. They fell down and all over the world. Being a piece of the Ivory Tower, they possessed some magic in them, which will eventually be seen by the Little Boy and everyone who had the eye for magical happenings. With what the Little Boy called “ammunition,” there will come great and grand adventures for the little lives that will encounter those shards that came from the Ivory Tower, standing on top of the tallest mountain on top of the world.

Amaris and the Paper Airplane Prophecy

One cloudy, melancholic morning, the gates of heaven opened up to let an angel, Uriel, fly down to earth and bring good news to a high-spirited maiden named Amaris. As the angel was flying down, blazing through the sky like a flaming bird, the Little Boy, master of the Ivory Tower, laid eyes and ears on her. On top of the tallest mountain on the top of the word, the Ivory Tower’s master heard the angel muttering and sputtering, “Ave, Amaris! The One True God promises you success in that matter that you dread doing. Stand up, accomplish your deed, and give glory to the One True God!”

As the Legend of the Ivory Tower would have it, the Little Boy was incarcerated in the tower because he professed great knowledge that displeased the Sun and the Moon. The crime was blasphemy and pride, and the punishment was futile knowledge of everything that concerned the four corners of the world. Even so, the Little Boy had not learned his lesson; he was still proud of getting attention, so when he heard this angel, this absent-minded Uriel, fly across his horizon with news to bring to Amaris, he wanted to the deliver this news and pose as God’s messenger.

Though the Sun and the Moon built the tower out of ivory and made sure that their prisoner can only perceive the epiphanies and the revelations of the four dominions, they were not able to control an unfortunate piece of paper that was blown over and into the Ivory Tower by Hamsin, the southerly wind of Israel. With this wind-blown piece of paper, the Little Boy saw an opportunity for mischief. He wrote Uriel’s message down, folded the piece of paper into an airplane, and sent it flying towards Amaris. The little paper airplane of prophecy flew fast, for the Little Boy possessed the knowledge of origami and aeronautical engineering. He was so brilliant that the paper airplane flew faster than Uriel. However, his aim was not good; the little airplane was supposed to land on Amaris’ lap in Israel, but it landed in Lebanon on the lap of a girl with the same name.

If Amaris of Israel was high-spirited, Amaris of Lebanon was weak, introverted, and hesitant in personality. Amaris of Lebanon never did anything. She didn’t think that she was strong enough, good enough, nor useful enough for anything. However, this didn’t mean that she didn’t have innermost desires. She wanted to go out to dinners with her friends, but she feared the dark. She wanted to become a nurse, but she thought she is not strong enough to care for sick people. She wanted to go to the zoo but thought that she might get lost on the way. More deeply, Amaris of Lebanon, of all things, wanted to cure herself of the fear of vampires.

As she is capable only of little things like turning book pages, she loved to read. In her room, she read books that were written to dispense courage and knowledge. Through her reading, she read that having sanguivoriphobia, the fear of vampires, should not concern her for the learned men think that vampires are not real, and she will never come across one in any of her lifetimes. Nevertheless, she was still afraid of vampires and of almost anything that she thought she cannot do.

As it happened, the little paper airplane landed on the hands of the wrong Amaris. With her curiosity piqued, she unfolded and read the message on the piece of paper. As the message was divinely inspired, although it was handed down to the wrong person, the message was enough to inflame Amaris’ courage and do all the things that she planned on doing. She went to a dinner party of one of her neighbors, which brought them amazement. She studied to become a nurse, which her ailing parents supported because their aching arthritic joints snapped at them. She was successful. After 4 years, she graduated and lived a life of courage and success. Even so, she wasn’t happy because she has one more fear to face.

With this sanguivoriphobia left uncrossed on her list of things to overcome, she sought her parents’ blessing to face this fear. “Amaris, vampires are not real,” said her disapproving mother. “Even if you waste your life looking for vampires and use the next lifetimes that you will live, you’ll never come across one, so leave it be. Let yourself be afraid of one thing,” counseled her coughing father. “No, father!” Amaris cried out. “You named me Amaris, ‘Promised by God.’ That is all true, and I’ve received this letter, this promise from God. I shall see a vampire and conquer my fear of it!” With those words, she left her house to seek a vampire.

As luck or the promise of God would have it, it didn’t take long for her to find a vampire. As she was walking in the Jeita Grotto on Mount Lebanon, she stumbled upon a sleeping shape submerged in the soil of the inner sanctum of the grotto. As many phobic people know, there is an automatic, almost precognitive sensation when coming across the object of fear. It was like a trickle of cold sand down her back for Amaris. She knew that she found a vampire. It was already dusk when this happened so she decided for herself that the vampire must wake before she renounced her fear. She didn’t have to wait long because the vampire chose to sleep deep in the subterranean cavern where the light of the Sun does not reach. As the Sun tuck its last rays in the West, the vampire woke and saw that Amaris was standing over him.

“My name is Amaris, and I am not afraid of you — not anymore,” she proclaimed.

The vampire raised an eyebrow. “Ow, is that the truth? Why are you not afraid of me who drinks the waters off of the Red Rivers of Life?”

“I am Amaris, ‘Promised by God.’ He, the Most High, told me that I will succeed in anything that I dread doing. I dreaded your kind even though you were thought of as non-existent. I am here, brave and standing — proof that I have already succeeded in my deed,” answered Amaris as she held the paper, with trembling hands, containing the prophecy that the master of the Ivory Tower sent flying.

“Did your god promise you that you’ll live to say that you succeeded? Did your precious revelation tell you that you’d continue to breathe after your deed? I do not claim that I know your fate nor your god, but I do know myself enough to say that you will fail in the bloodiest manner,” triumphantly taunted the vampire.

With a quick step and a deep kiss on the nape, Amaris fell dead, drained, and defeated in the deed that she thought she could do. The vampire was victorious and, once again, wallowed in the red waters of the River of Life. After feeding, he took the paper containing the message that the girl blindly believed. He noticed that there were creases that caused him to fold it back into a paper airplane. As a joke to God and His glory, the vampire went out into the Lebanese night, climbed up Mount Lebanon, and let the paper airplane fly back to heaven.

Like a redundant redundancy, the airplane, the paper that Hamsin blew up to the Ivory Tower some 4 years ago flew back into the tower and crossed the horizon of the Little Boy, the Master of the Ivory Tower. As he was granted faultless perception, he saw the sad fate that he had caused Amaris. He saw the paper airplane that he sent out and caught it in the wind, but contrary to his initial design, his intent to beat Uriel in delivering a divine revelation, he was only successful in leading a girl into a foolish feat and a bloody doom. There and then, the Little Boy, on top of the Ivory Tower, on top of the highest mountain on top of the World went into a fit while sputtering and muttering that he needed practice in aiming paper airplanes to reach the right destination.

The Perfumer and the Beloved of Provence

Below heaven, on top of the world, on top of the Ivory Tower, the Little Boy gazed at the wideness of the earth and the capacity of its inhabitants to do strange things. After all the time that he was incarcerated, a millennium or two, the Little Boy saw that humans, little ants in his field of vision, have the ability to cloud their judgment with an emotion called love. He has seen so many stories about love and how it blinds men and women of everything save what they want to see. He can recount to us all that it’s a pattern, an affliction, a genetic flaw that our species has endured for over 20, 000 years.

Usually, he would only look at a love story and then, turn the other way, for he has memorized the many themes that it could take, especially that of blind love. However, one day, he found an interesting, almost unbelievable tale of blind love that did not involve vision. He found a story about love and how it can also cloud an automatic sense — smell.

As he was gazing at the lavender fields of France, the Little Boy spied on a perfumer. The wind named Arsine blew from Hautes Alpes, to Provence, and to the Ivory Tower. The Boy smelled the sweet, thin fragrance of lavender being distilled by this man, this perfumer that we’ll learn to call Jean. Jean, named after the great yet deranged Jean Baptiste Grenouille, didn’t dream of making the world’s best perfume; instead, he was set on smelling the scent of love that only the woman of his dreams can emit. We would call him obsessed because he had the best nose to rival any perfumer of his time, but he insists on making only the scent that his love wore on her neck, wrist, and bosom.

This woman, whose sensuous, silky skin smelled of lavender, is named Aimee. She was the beloved in the land of Provence. As a testament of this description, every bird of the woods sang songs that spoke her name. Each blade of grass bowed as she strode through the fields. The maid’s cauldron only bubbled and boiled with bravado when the meal is for Aimee. Fish leaped into nets as fishermen shouted, “What shall we serve for our beloved, Aimee?” All of Provence toasted because they had Aimee in their midst.

Jean, the perfumer, knew he stood little chance of getting Aimee’s hand in marriage. He was poor for his refusal to concoct colognes and perfumes that smelled of other things other than lavender. However, he felt hope because Aimee, at the mature age of 24, was still unmarried. She refused to marry for some unknown, untold reason that puzzled her many suitors. As luck would have it, she was held by an obsession for the smell of lavender because she felt an affinity to the most beautiful and bounteous flower on Provence. She vowed that she’ll only marry the man that can bring her the best perfume with a lavender overtone. This secret was only known to the lavender fields, her usual haunting place whenever her suitors stressed and strained her to succumb.

Thus, Jean continued plucking lavender flowers to satisfy his obsession for Aimee. Aimee continued to lament to the lavenders for the lack of a man that brought the sign that will tell her who to marry. In the middle, the lavender field continued to grow purpler and purpler with anger to the endless massacre and melancholic moping that they endured. Finally, one lavender stalk was struck with stunning idea. “Why don’t we tell Jean that Aimee needs only a vial of the best lavender perfume? That will get both of them off our fields!” A hush, and a wave of excitement swept over the field. “Yes! Yes, we will do that! At first light, at first light, when the perfumer plucks his pick of flowers, we will tell him this secret of secrets!”

With the decision decided, Jean learnt the secret. Aimee received Jean as her husband, and they lived happily, or so it seems. After a year, the vial of Jean’s perfect perfume was empty, and he needed to make more for his beloved. To make the situation more stressful, the lavenders also sensed that they are, yet again, at the face of a massacre as they smelt Aimee walking down the path not smelling anything at all near the scent of their purple flowers.

With this new nuisance, they had to produce a plan to stop Jean from plucking them. The same lavender stalk, now more devious than before, devised a plan involving devilry and death. “We have to kill Aimee so that Jean would stop scything and plucking from our field. If we are fortunate, we could also kill him with grief.” The other lavender stalks swayed to and fro with indecision, but the temptation of survival won over saintly sense. “Yes, we shall kill her! Roll her to a ditch and let her be taken away by the stray beasts that blunder in the bushes.” The plan went on flawlessly. As lavenders, they knew how to exude a better aroma than Jean’s distillations. They gave off a scent so irresistible that Aimee, in the middle of the night, slipped silently into the fields, mesmerized by the smell of lavender. Into a ditch she fell without a murmur. She fell, died, and was dragged off by bumbling bear into a winter hole used for hibernation, hidden by shadows and stones.

Morning came, and Jean woke up to an empty bedroom save himself and the furniture. Thinking that Aimee was cooking omelets, he went into the kitchen. Hypothesizing that she went to the hens for eggs, he went into the chicken coop. Thinking that she went into the market for some milk, he marched to the market place, but alas, Provence’s beloved is missing! He cried and cried with sorrow and longing, which clogged his ability to find his missing wife. Days went on, but there was no sign of Aimee until one day.

Jean, exhausted with searching for his wife, sat down, wept, and breathed deeply. As he was inhaling, he was able to smell Aimee from the distance. He smelled the lavender perfume he has concocted even when the source is miles away from him. Now, filled with hope and the thrill of the Hunt, he closed his eyes and raised his nose to the air. He sniffed and snuffed while running and stumbling through fields, forests, and fens. He never opened his eyes for fear that he might lose the scent, the only link that he had to finding his wife.

Ultimately, his superb sense of smell led him to Aimee. He knew because there was no other place that smelled so strongly of his lavender perfume. He smiled, opened his arms, expecting an embrace from his wife. After a minute that felt like a millennium, he wondered why she has not wrapped her arms around him, so he opened his eyes. When Jean saw Aimee, his heart thumped its last beat, broke, and fell silent. He was killed by the sight of his decomposing wife, wreathed with writhing worms, maggots, and murmuring flies. With his blind love for her, he failed to smell the death and decay that surrounded him. He only saw or, in this case, smelled the lavender on her dead body. With all his talent in the art of aroma, he clouded his perception, ignored the suffocating stench, and succeeded in finding his death and his dead wife. As such, Jean fell to the ground as well, and the wind, Arsine, changed the scent it carried.

The Little Boy saw and smelled each scene in this sad story of blind love. As Arsine continued to blow into the windows of the Ivory Tower, the Little Boy shook his head, walked away from the topmost window atop the tallest mountain on the top of the world just beneath heaven.