On Wayside Roses Passed By

You drive through a village and pass a girl of the most impossible beauty, striking as a bullet hitting home.

The word you think of is “ethereal”, and immediately you know it won’t do, too educated a word and too imprecise. As your bus passes her, you know in the nature of village belles, this flower too will fall and wilt quickly, under the pressures of feminity in a world with even less oppurtunities for non-urban girls. You think how much a loss it is the odds are zero you will ever meet her in your circles, to woo, chase her, sleep with her maybe and contribute your quota to her degeneration.

Suddenly you are aware of a new meaning of injustice, still vague but immensely disturbing. And while you don’t know how come this sadness creeps so confidently in your heart, you feel as well that sadness is the right emotion, as appropriate as black to a funeral. There IS something funereal about her beauty.

Ethereal. Funereal.

You pass on with your dubious goods and your sadness without a name.


7 thoughts on “On Wayside Roses Passed By”

  1. No disappointment here (from me the reader, Ricky, you are more than a Wordsmith-You are the Hammer of the gods!),…
    The speaker though, has quite a bit of brooding disappointment,…perhaps for his psychosexual view of the “object” or for the fact that the expectations he has for her may never be realized. But there is a patronizing tone I sense which is common amongst educated Nigerian men,…this is what I confidently point out because I am more or less guilty of it,…(Embarassed smile).
    However there is a capturing of the inability of achievement-in the occupational sense-by the object and that may offset the apparent deprecation. Or maybe it is a projection of the speaker’s own underachievement?
    Wonderful ending, the realization of sadness, an appropriate emotion for knowing everything that could have been,….and will never be. The presence of death everwhere,….especially in the living.

    Ricky for 2015!….great piece Sir.

  2. Ah, vintage Richard; just the kind of writing I like to read, of sadnesses that creep “confidently” into hearts, and emotions as “appropriate” as black to funerals, and beauty that is “impossible” and “funereal” (I call it ‘melancholic beauty’—I’m usually attracted to it)… So I read this with a huge grin of satisfaction (a most incongruous emotion for such a grim piece, forgive me). Lovely all over. (Closes grin, for a more apt funereal demeanour)

  3. Palatable, sadness – like wisp of smoke imprisoned between sweaty palms. Desire, earthly – that strangles your erection with hints of commitment. Death, degeneration – beauty and gloom.

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