So Cold

orchidWhy did she fall in love with such a cold man?  His heart as frozen as Denver in February. His smile frosty. He stayed with her for the handiness of a warm body and to insure a witness to his genius because he was a genius. A great artist.  She stayed because he had ruined her and she thought no one else would have her. She knew no one would ever love her again if anyone ever had. She watched herself dry up. All her juices sucked out of her. She was parchment. She died a little each day. No one noticed. The years passed. Then he left. Suddenly. She was sure she would die completely then. He took everything. Even the orchids. The only truly living things in their ascetic sixth floor apartment.  No courts awarded him custody. He just took them like he took everything else he wanted – because he was so cold. He took their money – her money really because she was the one with the job.  But he would need it because he was still alive, creating, branching out like the Paphiopedilum, Cymbidium, Cattelya and Dendrobium they had raised together. He was so cold.  The words he scribbled on the note he left where the orchids had surprised her. On one side “Of course I loved you. I wouldn’t have married you if I didn’t.” On the other side “I’m gone and I’m not coming back.” Somehow she survived without him. Alcohol helped in the beginning. It warmed her. Brought her back to life. Then she found other men who said they loved her. Warmer men. Sweeter men. Today she detests orchids and color field painting but sometimes she googles him, just to see if he is still alive. They call him the “Orchid Man of Brooklyn” and his smile is still frosty.


Filed under Breadcrumbs, Nonfiction

2 responses to “So Cold

  1. Squirrelbasket

    Orchids are a great motif here.
    In a way this also reminds me a little bit of “Lying Eyes” by the Eagles:
    “And it breaks her heart to think her love is
    Only given to a man with hands as cold as ice…”
    I love your blog posts – and always wonder exactly how much is autobiographical. But I’m sure you won’t tell me!

    • brendamantz

      Even when I call it fiction I am sure there is biography there because we cannot write from the perspective of someone we haven’t been

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