by  Ginger Marin

I was sitting reading at a table alone in a tiny coffee shop.  A man came up to me, excused himself and complimented me on my hair style.  He said “I can’t take it with me but i can give you this”, as he presented me with a rose, most likely ripped from a nearby bush.  It was quite a lovely red rose.  But as I examined it, I kept wondering if perhaps the thorns were tainted with poison.  Or maybe, the leaves, or even the petals themselves!  Would I be dying in a hospital bed in a few days, hacking and retching, with ugly oozing welts on my body a result of ricin poisoning?  Or would I drop dead in the street just after leaving the café having been pricked by a thorn dipped in some other fast acting toxin?  I don’t know.

Should I take the rose home with me so that investigators can at least test the rose for toxins later as I lay dying?  The rose could be infected with anthrax or botulism.

Did the man really like my hair or is he a serial toxic rose giver?

I pondered these thoughts as I waited for my friend.  Perhaps she would know what to do.  I sipped my very expensive miniscule cup of espresso, anxiously, hoping the caffeine would counter any poisons.  Caffeine seems to be alternately harmful or life-giving depending on … well, frankly I’m not sure.

My friend hasn’t arrived yet.  I’m now getting worried.  Did she too get a rose from the mysterious stranger?  Is she now lying dead in a ditch in an alley behind the café?  I’m beginning to get heart palpitations, no doubt the first sign of poisoning.  My head is throbbing.  I feel faint.  Just as my head is about to drop to the table, my friend enters the cafe.  She seems to be okay.

Then a man at the counter ordering a coffee tells an employee her hair “looks good down”.  I’m certain now that this must be some new fangled hair “thing” that some men have.  I think perhaps I have overreacted and that the rose is just a rose and that my mysterious stranger is really just a member of a hair club.  I am relieved.

I’ve decided that watching all those TV shows like Criminal Minds, CSI, Law & Order (all versions) are bad for me.  I make a New Year’s resolution to watch more uplifting shows.  Are there any left on TV?  They all seem to get canceled.

I left the café with my rose, knowing that I have become a better person all because one mysterious stranger gave me a flower.  If only it were money.  Oh well, not everything is meant to be.  Maybe when the recession is over, I can order a large coffee and perhaps then, the scientific community will have figured out once and for all if caffeine is good or bad.

Article by Ginger Marin. To learn about her acting, visit Ginger Marin’s IMDB page.