Whenever people see the poppy plant, they assume that someone planted it for the opium. I remember giant fields of poppy plants back when I was a child. They used to grow wild near the farm where I lived.
It was only much later in my adulthood that I learned of entire nations crumbling to the addictive smell of burning opium. Then they came.
The soldiers came with orders from the government that all poppy plants, wild or otherwise, were to be destroyed. It was an offence to have wild poppy growing even in fields that nobody owned. The landscape of my childhood would be forcibly changed into one that was acceptable.
I love the poppy plant. The way it stands upright, so beautiful and strong, unlike the grasses which sway in the wind. I love the way it grows: it starts off tender and vulnerable, slowly gaining strength and character with each sun-filled day. I scarcely remember it now. All I remember is the expanse of poppy stalks, all mercilessly decapitated.
I have often thought of planting her in secret, just to relive what I once knew so well. I would have if I were a nomad or a hired hand, but the stakes are too high now that I have inherited my family's farm. I stand to lose everything if caught even with one stalk anywhere in its vicinity.
My life straddles two pieces of world history: one innocent and poppy filled, the other with stark reality and poppyless.
Maybe it is for the best that I am unable to revisit the plant of my youth. Now older and worldly-wiser, I may be tempted to crush her and smoke her, leaving me with neither the rejuvenation of childhood memories nor the security of present day life. I would be a husk, like the millions of opium addicts whom history has vowed not to recreate.
Is it impossible to love for love's sake alone and not for self-centered pleasure? The worldwide extermination of my childhood symbol deigns the quality of our love tainted; that to love purely is nigh impossible.
Maybe they're right. But what a price to pay, half<? /* ————————-
Cheryl fed me durian today, because I was using the computer. I want so much to love and care for her like we used to when we were children and wrote letters to each other. But at the same time I sometimes fear I'll fall for her if I do.
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a life lived – never to be lived again!

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