The Lotus Caretaker
Earlier this week, Sister Madly woke up with the worst hangover of her entire human career, which was all fine and dandy except for one thing: she didn’t drink the night before. In fact, she hadn’t had a drink since the Zip It’s Inquisition.
Well, that just irritated Sister Madly. To wake up with a hangover when she did not partake in the pre-hangover festivities is so unfair. Then again, people have been known to sleepwalk and sleep eat, even sleep drive in some instances. So why not sleep drink?
Did the dog* eat your IQ for breakfast, Sister Madly? At the bottom of what teacup did you read such logic? You don’t keep alcohol in the house. Even the bit of wine you killed off during the Inquisition was what remained of the wine you cook with.
*That would be Sambo, the imaginary dog of Sister Madly’s Childhood Friend.
Maybe she dreamt that she drank all night. Maybe this is a psychosomatic hangover.
And so once again, Sister Madly found herself engaging in 3 AM Rationale at 10 in the morning with words she could hardly spell. The last time this happened, she brought the salad dressing along with her to the Seventh Circle of Hell, known to general public as the Batting Cage. In light of those developments, she thought it best to iron out all the kinks before work that night.
Wait- what was that about working? Just what work would that be, Sister Madly?
Come on- you know she takes care of the lotuses.
Is that so. And just where do you do this caretaking?
At the pond.
For the love of all things polka-dot, Sister Madly! Who works at a pond? Botanical garden, yes, conceivably even a wetland- but a pond? Just where, pray tell, is this pond?
Now she’s stumped. It would be understandable if she couldn’t give you the exact address, but Sister Madly can’t even tell you how to get there. She could call her boss… the boss whose name she does not know… How does one address someone who has no name? How is it that she doesn’t know her boss’ name? How is it that she knows nothing about her job?
Oh, Sister Madly, don’t you see what has happened here? Surely it tickles no one to say this, but it was a dream. You dreamt that you were this Lotus Caretaker, and you believed it. Worse yet, you’ve been believing it for more than half the day. You were even going to call this imaginary job! Tell us, Sister Madly- what color is the sky in your world?
Of course, upon thinking it over, it was obvious that it wasn’t real, even though it didn’t have the bizarre elements that one cheerfully accepts in a dream; no dandelion-dispensing gumball machines growing in the pastures; no plaid T-Rexes flaunting feathered boas at the casino. It had all the earmarks of real life- there was even the scent of rain and neroli oil, which is something she rarely experiences in a dream. And she was sad, because it was a really pretty pond and she liked her job.
Sister Madly, you see, was the only one who could make the Lotuses bloom- that, right there, should have tipped her off. Sister Madly doesn’t have what they call a green thumb. Sure, back in the 6th grade, she had the largest lima bean plant by the end of the month, but that was entirely due to a boy named Benny, who took over her duties when Sister Madly was out with yet another bout of Chicken Pox.
And just how was she able to get them to bloom? By lifting the lotus out of the water and holding it in her palm until the petals fell open- prying them apart only killed the flowers. Fortunately, she did not find this out the hard way. That might have made her cry.
Sure, it sounds like candy, Sister Madly; that’s why it doesn’t sound like you. Are you certain that cartoon birds weren’t also braiding your hair? How about sitting on your shoulder, singing you a lullaby?* What about riding a magic carpet through the fireflies and the fairies? Would you have believed all this, too?
Still, Sister Madly does have to work tonight: she needs to work on distinguishing reality from her fever-induced dreams.
*Had it been real life, it would’ve been buzzards braiding her hair and a belching pelican on her shoulder. With fish breath.
POST’S THEME SONG: Fever, Sarah Vaughan