It's so cold.
Where I work, it's always cold. The outside is even worse. But that's okay. I'm making my living the way I need to. Decent salary, decent apartment, decent boyfriend. I wear my cute suits to work, and I smile at people. Even when they are rude, and nasty, and uncompromisable, I smile. Because that's what I'm paid to do. Under the bland white lights that somehow make everything grey, I'm at my desk, organizing, taking calls, being pleasant. But I'm still cold. They refuse to turn up the heat at all. Maybe it wouldn't help; This whole country is cold.
It's Monday and one of my colleagues walks by; he's whistling. It's not completely unusual to hear someone making up their own tune, rather raspy, trying not to disturb other people. A low key merrymaking that is not very merry at all. That tune I hear; I think maybe it's one I know. Who can say... There's never music at work, and my radio is broken. I never got around to setting up my music program at home. My whistling colleague; he's in the elevator now, and the tune is gone. He's gone, up, to some floor, but that music is still on my floor, somewhere. It's floating in my mind. What is it? I'm distracted now. That tune. I know that tune. It's very old.
No matter. Work. Work means money; means food; means fun. Organize. Take calls. Organize. It's so cold.
Then it's Tuesday. I continue my routine. My colleague walks by again with his quiet, raspy, i-don't-want-to-annoy-you whistle. I don't know the tune this time. and I wonder why he's doing that. I've never wondered before. This man; in his suit, rather plump, rather old. What is he whistling about? For what reason?
No matter. Things need to be organized. Calls need to be received. Work needs to be worked.
I'm at home, my boyfriend is there. We don't have much to say. He's bland and boring like me. But it'd be a bother to break up with him. It's be a bother to break up with me. Maybe. I ask him if he whistles at work. He says no. Okay. I ask him if he knows this song. And I whistle for him, a loud clear whistle unlike my colleague's. I had forgotten that my whistling was so loud.
Yeah, he says. You liked that song didn't you? I say I don't know. I say I don't think I know it very well, but it's familiar. And now my boyfriend looks at me and says "You always used to whistle that. You'd even sing it."
I don't remember the last time I sang. I tell him so. "No," he says, "You definitely sang it."
Wednesday. Work is money; is food; is fun, or something. I guess. It's cold. He's there again, going to the elevator, whistling. I don't know the tune. I say excuse me and he turns around. That song, I say, a few days ago; what was it? He's looking at me strangely, and I hum it for him, too embarrassed to whistle.
He tells me the title, and continues on his way. The title is not familiar. I return to my black desk and white papers and grey lighting. I continue to hum that song that i think I know. My boyfriends says I know.
Before I go to sleep, I start remembering more of the song. I know the chorus, kind of, the bridge, and the end.
Thursday morning, and I'm humming it more. The girl across from my desk, who usually never says anything, is looking at me. She tells me she knows that song. She loved it as a kid. As a kid? She seemed my age. Was this a kid's song?
She says yeah, it was the "Sunflower Song", but since Sunflowers weren't native here, she didn't know what it was.
The Sunflower Song. That was the chorus. I knew the words, suddenly.
The words. The story of a sunflower that was bigger than the rest. He grew so many seeds, but was harvested first.
After months, or was it years? Of no music, of no color, of no scenery or life, or love. This song was planting itself within my heart. The Sunflower Song. And quietly, so quietly, I sing it at my desk. And I work. Organize. Take calls. Smile pleasantly even though I'm cold; and for once I'm completely bored by all of it.
Friday, and the weekend approaches. Normally I don't care. But the song is leading me out. Out of the cold country, and out of the monochrome of my office. To sunflowers; the tallest and biggest and happiest of them all. To bright canary petals and green green leaves. A forest of tall flowers with seeds at my feet. A child gripping upwards to touch the soft stems. Gripping, gripping, up and away, and towards the sky with warmth on my shoulders and knees. To my childhood. To my old home, the sunflower plantation. Hearing the song on the tv and trying to memorize it exactly. Because this sunflower song had to be mine. It spoke of my sunflowers and my hot summer snacks of seeds. It was mine.
It was mine. Now where is it?
My flowers were gone. The standing light fixtures replaced them. there was no blue sky, just grey chalky ceiling. And it was cold. But at least I had my Sunflower Song.
Saturday, my boyfriend called. My boss called. My colleague called. But I didn't receive it, I didn't organize, and I didn't smile pleasantly in the cold.
I went back home to my sunflowers. Singing.
It's so warm.