Wednesday, February 2, 2011

BOXVIOLET @ CLUB MOSCOW

Margot Paige of boxViolet
boxViolet's Margot Paige
photo by picksysticks


by JPegg

boxViolet reminded me of a memory I never had about a story that I didn’t think would be a good idea to tell. However, it was all that was in my mind after watching their live performance and reading vocalist Margot Paige’s most recent news about her unfortunate loss in the family along with her search of something bright to break the mundane of recent years.

The story that Paige and boxViolet invoked was about an eight year old boy that tried to grow a garden of morning glories. He liked the blue ones that his mother once grew in the spring. It would be his most memorable flower. He liked how they were open in the morning, as if to greet him good day as he crossed the lawn on his walk to school. The flowers were growing in a flower box next to his parents’ window, from vines that roped around a few sticks of wood. He counted each day how many had opened to greet him. “Good morning five” or “Good morning three, looks like more tomorrow or just a little late waking up today,” he would say, something cheesy like that. Once, he tried to touch a drop of dew that looked like a clear ladybug resting invisible on the flower, but when he did, the flower was so delicate that it created a wrinkle in its blue. He tried to straighten the flower smooth, but instead tore it. Angry with himself, he ripped it from the stem and buried it in the soil. He never touched the flowers again. Some days he was worried about a test or something bothering him and just passed them by. On his way to school he’d remember that he forgot to good morning them and wondered if they would be open for him the next day or just stay closed to show their resentment. When they were bright open, they were always so amazing, heavenly blue, they were called, as if they were funnel shaped windows facing heaven. When the boy arrived home from school, the flowers were spiraled up, as though they were sleeping. It made him a little bit tired as well. He kept silent as he passed them on the way into his house.


"Star Stuff" by boxViolet

During summer vacation, the boy didn’t see them much. When he awoke in the morning, closer towards noon, he would watch television for the most of the day or go out and play. When he would play he would ride his bicycle out of the garage, which was in the rear of the house or he would stay in the backyard with friends. He never needed to go out the front door in the morning. When he went places with his parents, the flowers would be spiraled up and sleeping. He forgot about them after a while. Television made him forget to take a quick walk outside in the morning to greet the flowers in bloom. Before school started again in the fall, his mother dug up the plant and threw them out. The boy never knew they were gone until he left for that first day of school when he instinctively as a routine turned his head, but this time only saw the blank exterior of the house. In a split moment, the memories of those morning glories came back to him. He looked down at the flower box and saw nothing but soil with the sticks gone. When he asked his mother about them, she said it was finished and that the flowers were gone, the season was over. “We’ll plant them again in the spring,” she said, and gave him a squeeze. That was the only year she planted those flowers. Next spring came. The flower box was still there, but mother was gone.

The boy asked his father if he could plant the morning glories again. His father took him to the gardening center and the boy picked out the seed packets that pictured the same heavenly blue morning glory. There were fifty seeds in a packet. The boy thought each seed would only produce one flower, so he grabbed three packets, hoping that it would last through summer. Father didn’t check how many were in a packet and just purchased them for his son. “We’ll find those sticks in the garage and plant them tomorrow,” said his father.

When they got home, the boy tore open a packet and gently poured a few seeds into his cradling palm. The seeds were small and black, like sunflower seeds without the white, he thought. He carefully poured them back into the packet and folded it closed.

That evening, there was a Dodgers baseball game on television. Father was already drunk and passed out in his arm chair by the third inning. The boy ran out of sunflower seeds while watching the game, spitting them like the players, not on the ground but into a plate. It wasn’t long before the boy remembered the morning glory seeds looking like sunflower seeds. He went and got them. He unfolded the open pack and ate one. There was nothing to spit out. It was not soft like the sunflower seed, but rather hard like CornNuts, but without the barbeque coating that he liked. He remembered he was out of CornNuts, too. It was closer to eating Grape Nuts cereal, but he hated that. So, he kept grinding his teeth away on those morning glory seeds. It was just something to keep his mouth occupied and hands busy while watching the game.

Margot Paige of boxViolet
boxViolet's Margot Paige
photo by picksysticks


A few hours later in the ninth inning, the boy had eaten through two packets of morning glory seeds and noticed he was almost finished with the third. He started to feel strange. His body felt like it had done a few cartwheels and spun around a few times too many. He wasn’t dizzy, just light headed along with his body. The television started to pulsate and the colors seem brighter and twitching. He looked at the brown carpet and it rippled like a wave under his body, but couldn’t feel it moving. The baseball announcer started to echo. The boy thought he was dreaming. He called out for his father on the couch, but he was too lush to awake. He heard a sharp knock and thump at the door. He looked out the window and saw nobody. On the sidewalk there was a white plastic bag tumbling by casting shadow shapes of footprints that disappeared between streetlights. The boy thought it was the ghost of his mother with groceries. He called out for her, but the object continued to shadow and float out of his view. Gone. The boy awoke to the sunlight the next morning, climbing out from under wet covers, finding himself tucked deep under his bed. He never did plant those morning glories, ever. And was always frightened of the heavenly blue, until he later understood what happened to him that night. A psychedelic experience. However, he sometimes wondered if it really might have been his mother knocking at the door, coming to console and save his father. That’s the shortened draft version of the story that flashed in my mind while watching boxViolet perform this evening. The name boxViolet reminded me of morning glories that once grew in that flower box. The passing reminded me of lost loves. Moreover, the songs and Paige’s performance reminded me of a strained and wishful hope and what it finally became.
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