A few years on from each leaving their individual long term relationships, my parents decided to move in together: A mid terrace suburban fantasy.
A London borough, but just a few minutes outside of the expensive south east postcode, grassy banks between the road and the pavement, round the corner from Nan and Grandad round the corner, a box room for Mum to store her decorated and undecorated cakes, a fair sized garden with a shed for Dad and his motorbikes.
Potential for an extension and a loft conversion and blocking up the old fireplaces.
Great area for recycling.
Twenty seven years on the house remains our family home and the lily plant Mum and Dad bought all those years ago is still alive and well.
Curly ginger hair, red lips, big white lilies in the wedding bouquet. They nearly called me Lily. Nearly baby Lily comes home from hospital, the flowers in the photograph are in bloom, the potted plant abstains out of respect for the new born.
I breathe out. For years Lily has been synthesising my carbon dioxide.
I breathe in Lily’s oxygen. Lily taught me the importance of extreme symbiosis in relationships.
DISSOLVE YOUR SELF IN LOVE
LET THE CRUSH REDEFINE YOUR BODY
YOU WILL FINALLY BE BOUND TO THE REAL
Twenty seven years old and the lily plant grows too big for its pot. A small section is removed and replanted. I wonder if it will ever flower again.
Mum and Dad ask me if I want the cutting for my flat.
I take the cutting for my flat.
Lily and me, we are made of the same stuff. Together we involuntarily grow outwards.
We force feed each other with the shit we hate about ourselves.
I come home from work one Saturday evening and put the telly on. I happen to watch an advert for fridges where the personified fridge acts as the narrator and fairy godmother to a young family’s little girl.
“Oh! What a reliable fridge.” I suppose I am supposed to say.
But I don’t. I have been betrayed.
I will touch the Real! I will touch the Real without being touched by the Real.
In a final act of love I prepare my last supper. I transfer Lily into a mixing bowl and pick off every leaf one by one. I cut finely and fry for five minutes before lining the bottom of a shallow glass dish. I separate the stalks and roots from the soil which I evenly spread over the fried leaves. I quarter the stalks and roots for boiling. Once boiled, I pour the broth into the dish for the soil to soak up.
I wait for 45 minutes.
Dinner is served and innocence is restored.
Dessert is a longer wait. In the meantime, whenever I am feeling sentimental I do 27 sit ups while shouting, “Lilies are the flower of death.”