The sign said, "Come on in and smell the roses", so I opened the door and walked in.
Barely in the store, I was greeted by the shop keeper, "Can I help you?"
"I thought I'd take you up on your invitation, I'm here to smell the roses.
"The proprietor's blank stare was guarded and sprinkled with a hint of fear.
"The sign in your window says to come on in and smell the roses."
"Oh." This sound was uttered with the disappointment of a kid whose lunch box is filled with sardine soup instead of the PBJ she was hoping for.
I didn't let the weight of the woman's mood settle into me. Instead, I walked around the rose store sniffing its collection of fancy, colourful blooms.
With each hopeful inhalation I waited.
I waited for the fragrance.
I waited for the perfumed note of flowered seduction.
I waited to be carried away on its aromatic story - but nothing came.
Nowhere in that shop of roses could I find the promise that had my feet cross the threshold in the first place; the gift of scented roses.
As I completed my round of olfactory investigation I thanked the now invisible keeper of the roses and walked back out into the cold, grey noise of the city street - and I inhaled.
The heady bouquet spoke a thousand wordless languages; the car exhaust spewed its tale of life's erratic flow filled with stops, starts and uncontrollable circumstances.
The icy aroma of snow foretold of shovels, bruised knees and the relished warmth of lovers arms and fireplaces.
Overly perfumed people huddled by; cloaked in nose assaulting clouds of bottled confidence disguised as cologne, each hoping to hide their unique brand of shame, guile and guilt.
The next time I walked by that store, the sign was gone and the windows were dark but such is the way of false invitations; they arrive on wings and fall into ruins.