Back at the office, he keeps going
on about it, coming to my cubicle,
insistent: You have to meet him.
No. I don’t. Please go away and let
me be. He disappears, comes back
just a little later. With a daisy which
he’s decided to liberate from a bouquet
which someone left late yesterday
for someone else at the reception
desk. He hands it to me, and he
says: Just do it. Go on, just for fun.
Just pull of the petals and say it.
I beg your pardon? Are you asking
me to decapitate the daisy? And what’s
the “it” you’re wanting me to say?
You’re kidding! You’ve never asked
a daisy about the status of your love
life? Never pulled off petals one
by one while saying “He loves me…He
love me not…” one phrase for each
petal, to see where you wind up?
No. Never. Sorry. And it’s not likely
I’ll be amending that deficit in my
experience this morning. Thank you. Bye.
Oh, come on. Just this once. If not
for you, for me. If you do it, I’ll buy
you all your coffees, all next week.
I pull the first two petals off, but
improv on my lines and say: “He needs
me not…I need him not…” and then
the daisy’s rescued from me and my
evident lack of appreciation of other
possibilities. You just don’t get it,
he accuses. You are missing the point
entirely. It’s not about needing
anyone, not him, not you, not anyone.
The point is that this is an opportunity
you may never get again, once-in-a-life-time
chance to meet somebody you can stand.
I’m fatigued. I’m tired. Okay, whatever,
fine. Give me the daisy, if it will make
you happy enough to go away. Give me
the daisy, and tell me again what it is
I am supposed to say. He hands it to me,
and in my weakened state, extracts one
more agreement: if the daisy says “He loves
me” then I will, just one time and only
briefly, consent to meet the man in question.
I pull the petals. And Fibonacci’s judgment
in the matter doesn’t please me. But I
don’t generally back out of bets, dares,
or agreements. I sign off my machine, pick
up my things to catch the early bus back
home, unwilling but committed. We agree
to make it simple, lunch on a daytime
work-day, the three of us at some place
that has soup, salad, bread, and coffee.
I punch the security code in the panel
to exit the building, and he calls out after
me in parting: Don’t look so sulky. Trust
the daisy. It isn’t about need. It’s about
possibility. Just think: maybe, you’ll get
along okay. Maybe you could fall off rocks