I've developed a weird habit. I'm not sure where it came from. One day I just started doing it.
I steal lavender.
Not from a shop or anything, but if I walk past someone's front garden and a bit of lavender pokes out over the fence, I'll rip off a bunch of it. Chuck it in my shirt pocket or something. Put it in my car. Sometimes I just hold it in my hand as I walk.
I like the way it smells. I liked the way it looks. I like the way it feels in my hand. "Lavender is good," I think as I steal it. "It's not gay man, it's good. It's cool."
One sunny day I was walking to Tall Guy's house in Narrabeen and I walked past a cool little weatherboard house with a pretty good garden. I stopped and reached over the picket fence to rip me some lavender gold. As I tore some stems from the greater plant I looked up and saw a little old lady sitting on the front porch. She'd seen the whole dirty act go down.
I didn't know how to feel about that. I was stealing her shit, and she was a little old lady. Little old ladies are probably the last people you should steal from. Them and babies. But this was lavender. Maybe there would be a vibe of like, goodwill. You know, a how-great-is-it-that-rat-bag-looking-young-men-still-stop-and-enjoy-the-simple-pleasures-of-lavender type thing. Maybe she'd invite me in for some tea and freshly baked scones.
We looked at each other for a moment. It was a strange moment. The invite didn't come. Just silence.
I pretended I didn't see her and walked away staring at my shoes. I was happy though. 'Cause I had lavender in my hands and my hands smelt nice. They smelt like lavender.