Man on Train with Flowers
Robert Lopez

On train with flowers then next to me sits woman even much prettier than woman I buy flowers for so she’ll love me and cure my situation. My situation needs attention more than what I can give it. And I think about my situation more than what is probably healthy. Must be I was born that way.

The woman I buy flowers for I hope will think about my situation and want to help cure me. She is nice woman with cloudy eyes and soft legs, almost like she ain’t got no bones and the muscles have decided to lay down and die.

Let me talk about my situation. My situation is complicated. It can have a life and or a mind of its own but almost never rarely sometimes gets me in trouble. That is all I want to say about my situation.

Instead let me talk about nice woman who I hope might help me and cure my situation. She has light blonde hairs all over face and is one of those kinds of woman that almost knows what it feels like to have situation. She knows it sometimes often needs attention.

No. I should talk about woman even much prettier than nice woman with soft legs and maybe flowers. Turns out this woman has same last name as me before she got married to some other guy and devote herself to his situation. We can’t decide what any of it means except no good.

The way this woman look at me says she wishes things was different. The way I look at her says loose lips sink ships. She is on train going to meet husband and friends for dinner. I ask about married life, should she need Lancelot or King Arthur or James Cagney. She says it’s good but not what you expect. This means she has second thoughts or cold feet. Then she says she has brother that looks just like me only with hair and taller. This means she could see herself falling head over heels so it’s good we can never see each other after this train ride. And also ignorance is bliss. She asks about flowers and for whom they are for. I tell her about nice woman with soft legs and light blonde hairs on her face. She approves but is devastated beyond repair. She turns ring on left ring finger so diamond points up. I could love this woman regardless.

The flowers I hold directly over my situation so no one can see but there is nowhere to hide neither. The train stops and the woman and I leave together but in separate directions.

I present woman with soft legs flowers at door. She is on third Chivas Regal and barefoot. Soon she passes point where she is willing or able to help cure my situation. The flowers go in vase and I go back to train station. Before that I tell her about woman even much prettier on train but leave out what needs to be left out. She approves but is devastated beyond repair. Then supposedly she passes out on futon. She will never love me.

On train ride home no one sits next to me, which is probably what I want but wouldn’t mind should a woman come help cure my situation.

Somewhere else in restaurant pretty woman tells husband and friends about man on train with flowers. Whatever it is she says is her business but make no mistake this is me she is talking about.

Originally appeared in New Orleans Review



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