they do become friends after all.
they saw it from pacific coast highway in dana point one afternoon on their way back from the beach, a little shop with funky furniture and large clay pots spilling out onto the sidewalk. they made that split-second decision you do when you’re driving along not looking for anything in particular, but in no hurry to get home, you know, the decision to extend your perfect day just a little bit longer, a little bit more exploration, just as you did at the beach when you wandered down one of the many arroyos that lead down to the beach (and where you saw two men kissing, their oiled bodies pressed tight together, one man’s deeply tanned hand holding the black-haired head of his lover in a clinch of passion. they didn’t see our sojourners, stopping as they had a few yards away in the deep, quiet sand, embarrassed a little, but still captivated by the glistening bodies and obliviousness–of the sun beating down on them, of the possibility of discovery; the beauty of the day surrounding them in an aura of golden, shimmering sweat and lotion, the sucking sound of two tongues competing with the gentle wash of water against the shore, and the faint hum of the freeway, unseen, but close. it was such an intimate, exquisite moment — the life before the little death that was sure to follow — that you unconsciously began to move closer to them; your lover took your hand and when you looked at him, he touched his lips with his forefinger, shhh, and you turned away and shuffled through the sand, back to the beach, resistant, a little like pulling your dog away from an especially fragrant spot of grass, and he leaned up against you, arm-to-arm, and kissed your shoulder, both of you smiling in collusion with the lovers behind you.)
the driver dug his wallet out from underneath the car seat where he’d hidden it when they’d parked at the beach, and they climbed out of the warmth of the car. they’d driven down the freeway with the windows down and exiting into town at the ‘beach cities’ sign, sunglasses slipping down their sun-kissed noses; one with a green bandanna tied around his head do-rag style, the other in his dago-t, curly, scratchy chest hair spilling out from the straps and arm-holes. they stood in front of the store, pointing at this pot and that one, really no need to speak to each other, but finally deciding on the neo-classical urn and the hunky surfer dude owner helped them put it into the trunk of their car, assuring them of its durability and long life.
a tree rose, just like the one in these photos, well, actually the one in these photos, was planted in the urn. a season of watering, sun, rain, time, passed. and then another, possibly a third, but then the urn started to deteriorate, a chunk of its rim falling off without human assistance (was the tree rose helping it escape? they didn’t know.) eventually though, it had to be replaced, and they brought home an earthen-ware, hand-decorated pot that required both of them to carry down the stairs from the garage to its new home. the hammer was brought out of its tool box and the pot that was falling apart was further encouraged to leave the tree rose behind; they re-potted it using some of the shards of the old pot as drainage in the bottom of the new, and there resides the rose ever since. (happily ever after, they imagine, as they’re inclined to believe in fairy tales and other stories of the supernatural, like lovers kissing on the beach.)