BROKEN FLOWERS (2005) is a dramedy about Don Johnston, a former Don Juan, who listens to Ethiopian Jazz while searching for the mother of his son.
03/24/10 | Film

Broken Flowers

by Richey Piiparinen

She placed her mouth in the cup of her hand and blew whispers. Though she was a kid, she had secrets. Though older now, she had the simple requirements of a child.

In many ways, she was never meant to be where she is right now. On the corner near the skids, and next to the guy with eyes wandering everywhere but where they are supposed to see: she is belatedly young. Yet young as in a seed inside a covered body covered with cartoon tattoos. And not surprisingly, perhaps, her breath stinks. But only like a pack of Big Red.

Years back, chewing bubbles she thought would make it easier to feel the sight of balloons others carried—and then those laughs in the soft light near shadows cast amongst the swaying in the playground. But chewing gum only made her look like she was supposed to: a girl. As she had her secrets, remember. And not even crazy ones, or ones that made the teacher do the full-body search. No. Just the normal ones. Like so much of the others that sat thick splitting, tucking away a large chunk of their disproportionate potential.

This is to say, then, that she—like many—set aside so much of herself because too often she was unready—home life being the perfect excuse to remain staying uninhibitedly confused. As there is something about the snow falling amidst Christmas in the screams. It is like taking a bath with no water in the tub, and then scrubbing without the emulsification of that film about your person. And of course it wasn’t just the sentimental days but every day outside the occasions. The simple things like simple touch missing. Like the hugs, the ungiven pats on the head—these things are no less important than having monsters bear you. And it’s funny, because we all run around seeking the fruit of what’s sensational. Meanwhile, the sweetness is in that normality of indifference of a never-developed trust.

Back on the corner, she stares, seeing in her life that she is not even close to being remotely alone. As it is everywhere in the city. It is in the beat-up cars, their motors running roughly. And in the hot dog vendor’s pink putrid being tucked inelegantly into buns that are hammered down. It is in the headlines of the papers in the nearby newsstand, and too in the modicum of great looks outside the bodies marching toward leftovers inside Unique Thrift. And then this everyday everything is but a reminder, not unlike a drawn picture when you have no ability to depict. And the proof, it was only worse under the good light. Like it was to her that day. As the sky fat with sun only shined brighter on the things showing the eyes what is not much felt when we look around.

And of course it wouldn’t be so bad if there wasn’t such a constant source of beauty, or a constant gem inside the girl inside the woman shining the impurity of being tucked so far gone. And then of course it wouldn’t be so hard if it wasn’t so hard for her to get back to that moment when she took the rest out of her mouth forever. Replacing her felt sense with the hints of something given to her by those in her life that were the same as always: idled, secretive—and underdeveloped like mired roses in unnecessary quantities of ash-light.