Let Me Feel What I Want

My neighbour has a cherry blossom tree in her rear yard. I have a cherry blossom tree in my front yard. Both white, pristine as brand new handkerchiefs, joyous, eye-catching, like a painting come to life. When I see a cherry blossom I think of chords on the piano, major sevenths playing songs of love that should be happy but always have a little hint of the plaintive, a little bit of longing for something more.

There are days when I feel like a bit of rusting tin. Breaking down, breaking down in the sun and the wind. Orange and brown and black; holding no light. If you step on me with the weight of your heel I could split into filaments quickly absorbed into the earth.

You get used to it in the end – the darker days. There is a sick kind of familiarity to it which is good because it stops you from lapsing into melodrama like a heroine in a gothic novel stuck in a castle surrounded by iron gates and brambles who is constantly beating her brow and crying : Woe is me.

My neighbour with the cherry blossoms invited me in for coffee on Sunday. She had a man from work there – one of those irritating, politically correct academics who would argue all night that a kettle was a teapot if you let them. One of those people who must be right all the time; even if they offend or cause upset. Even if they are wrong.

When I am in a darker mood these sorts of people come out of the woodwork. It’s as if I’m being tested which annoys me because I think it’s bad enough to be depressed without having to deal with aggravating people at the same time. But it seems to be the way of things.

Anyway, my neighbour and I were talking of our cherry blossoms and her friend butted in with – Prunus serrulata – which is obviously the botanical name for the tree in full blown Latin and I have to say I really appreciate people knowing the Latin names for plants but it’s not something you go into a shop and ask for. Or use endlessly in everyday conversation.

I mean, can you imagine the response you would get to these questions/statements?

Excuse me, do you have a bunch of bellis perennis (daisies) for my sweetheart?

I think I will buy my mother a prunus armeniaca (apricot tree) for her birthday.

I only wear perfume scented with convallaria majalis (lily of the valley) because it makes me feel classy.

This jasminum multipartitum (starry flowering jasmine) is giving me asthma.

If the guy’s obsession with Latin wasn’t bad enough we started talking about 9/11 and I mentioned how sad it still is to think of it. The sense of disbelief that such a thing could happen in our world is incredibly strong. I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t been affected by it in some way.

This man, this tiresome man, then went off on a rant about how everyone focussed on 9/11 and no one thought about all the people who had died in Iraq or Afghanistan or Somalia or bloomin’ Outer Mongolia in the last ten years. I nearly committed murder in that moment because nothing gets on my goat more than thinking I have to justify feeling sorrow or empathy for things. Just because I feel for those who suffered on that day doesn’t mean I also don’t feel for those who suffered anywhere else or have suffered since. What I don’t get is how someone develops such a warped way of looking at things. How does someone formulate such a perverse point of view?

I started to argue with him but it was like arguing with one of those types who believe in Intelligent Design  – you know – that evolution doesn’t exist and the dinosaurs were in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. My son was discussing Intelligent Design at school the other day and made me laugh with his take on it. ‘Intelligent Design is a euphemism for I Am An Imbecile,’  he said. Sometimes kids just tell it like it is.

Anyway (mark two), arguing, irritating, you-are-about-to-get-a-dessert-fork-in-your-jugular, Latin guy then went on to tell me I had no right to feel upset about the events of 9/11. NO right.

So I had to leave. It just wasn’t worth it.

On the way home the sun was shining on the cherry blossoms. They glowed, as if they’d been polished. White on white, clean as freshly-laundered sheets.

They spoke to me. Sang to me. Let me feel what I want to feel. The high parts and the lows. I don’t mind the rusting tin in my head when I can see the cherry blossoms. They let me feel what I want. Let me know what it is to catch the break of another’s heart so that I may grow and become better than I am. Let me breathe.

Without a hint of Latin in sight.

28 thoughts on “Let Me Feel What I Want

  1. Hahaha, how I hate those people. Smug beings! It is true (or seems to be) that when we can least cope with something, we actually draw it to ourselves – unfortunately, Selma.


    1. You are so right. I always draw the negative people to me when I am steeped in gloom. It’s an odd thing. And smugness…. what a horrible character trait. Blerch.


  2. Hi Selma,

    I know just the type of person you mean, and unfortunately there seems to be a few around, thank goodness we don’t run into them all the time. I’m sure if your neighbour asks you in again for coffee, you will make sure this person isn’t there to upset your day.

    I also love the cherry blossom trees, they are so beautiful when they bloom.


    1. Why do those people do that, Mags? I just don’t get it. The cherry blossom trees really are lovely. They make this time of year for me!


  3. Ahahaha, pretentious snots lol Newsflash arsehole, NOONE is impressed! Isn’t it amazing the number of people not only in love with the sound of their own voice but the utter conviction that everyone else is too?? lol

    Your description of depression being like a rusting tin is spot on Selma! Not laughing at you but the line it,s bad enough being depressed without the insult of having to deal with annoying people? …Yea ain’t it the truth! lol

    I love cherry blossoms too!


    1. I cannot believe the number of people who love the sound of their own voice. Blah blah freakin’ blah. They could be used as weapons of war – they would bore the enemy to death. It’s true – every time I feel a bit down all these weird. negative people just come from nowhere. It’s a like a scene from a Sci Fi movie. Sometimes it’s good because it makes me laugh. Hahahaha.


  4. There’s only one use for Latin names of animals and plants, that’s to standardise what they’re called worldwide. For instance, the White Oak, Spanish Oak and Sweet Oak is the same tree, Quercus alba …

    Mind you, I’d make an exception in the case of Cupressus Leylandii … I chopped down a hedge of it years ago; probably the Latin form is preferable to what I was calling it towards the end!


    1. You are so right. Throwing Latin names in during everyday conversation just sounds a bit pretentious. I will be over to check out the tag shortly!


  5. That guy is clearly a bonehead. I’ve always thought that some of the dumbest people around are the ones who feel this incessant need to show others how “smart” they are, how much they like to “think outside the box.” Sounds to me like your neighbor’s work friend is stuck inside a box full of stupid.


  6. Maximus Latinus Aresholeus – an irritatingly ubiquitous species.

    I love this post Selma – it made me laugh, and I also recognise the “sick familiarity” of those darker days – the image of the rusting tin and “If you step on me with the weight of your heel I could split into filaments quickly absorbed into the earth” is perfect


  7. Plonker! (and laughing at bluebees name for him) Nothing worse than people who think they are right all the time (unless they are talking about climate change of course, and they believe in it – haha 😉 ). When I am rusting up (you are the queen of metaphor and simile Selma) I don’t answer the phone or the front door and sleep a lot – seems to do the trick – and know that I will feel better in the fullness of time.


  8. If you want a Latin tag to come back with, how about ‘Excretia Tauris Cerberis Vicit’ (tanslated: ‘Bull**** Baffles Brains’ 😀


  9. Travelrat, I bow to a superior intellect and concur. Then I add;’penisatum cranium est’,which might approximate to ‘he is a dick head’.
    I now wish I had paid more attention to Mrs Raymond in her Latin class! (1949)


  10. Oh, how I miss the cherry blossoms! and how I love your spunk! it’s always a pain when you have to put up with jerks especially when there’s just a nice conversation with a neighbor going on … so happy that you walked away!


    1. Sometimes you just have to walk away, Susan. It’s the only thing to do. I don’t my blood pressure to rise. Haha. And I just love the cherry blossoms too!


  11. This is so excellent. Emotions are facts, they just are, they have a life of their own. People “shoulding” emotions are just ignorant. Emotions are by nature irrational. Yes, ranters like that guy are always irritating, all the more so when depression provides its own added irritation. Yes, I too know that familiarity of dark days and hope that spring lightens your mood soon. I would feel like saying to that guy, “Yeah, well I shouldn’t be irritated by you, either, but I am.” But really, it’s not worth fueling him.


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