When he explained that he was from the South Holland district of Lincolnshire, England, most people were confused: Was he from England or Holland?
He hadn’t really been anywhere until his mid-twenties and the more he traveled, the more he lost the sense of pride in listing out the regional names of his hometown, and then explaining that Spalding is in South Holland, which is in Lincolnshire, which is in England, and that “No, it isn’t in Holland. It’s just called that because of the tulips.”
His mother used to explain that “the colorful rows of tulips in Spalding are so bright you can see them from space.” He never bothered to find out if this were true or not but he would repeat it as though it were fact.
Spalding is a seasonal town usually populated, in the Spring, by very old tourists, mostly on bus tours. Everything in Spalding revolves around the tourists in the Spring. He worked in a quaint pub called the Old Red Lion selling shandies to old ladies who could no longer stomach a full pint of beer. They would ask for the beer to be mixed with a bit of lemonade to reduce the gas passed on their holiday. However, this often proved ineffective and he spent the season with farting grandmas who wanted to show him all the foggy photos of the tulips he had seen himself a million times, on the iPhones that their children had forced on them the previous Christmas.
He would meet up with a gang of friends to pass the time, talking football and smoking hash in the bulb fields. Anna, who like him, had not gone to university yet. She was the only girl he grew up with that still lived in Spalding. He counted her as one of his closest friends though they were rarely at ease or alone together. If they had had enough beer or smoked enough hash they would lay between the rows of tulips and rub against each other, heavy pet, and maybe kiss, but only once in a long while.
On one very special evening, Anna decided to go down on him. He was grateful and excited, and imagined turning and spraying cum all over the nearest rows of tulips. Just before what had seemed to be the inevitable climax, he and Anna noticed that in their haste they had crushed a few square feet of flowers. They hurried to get up and repair the damage but it was too late. The petals lay smashed in the brown dirt, and he had been denied his whimsical fantasy.
At the end of the summer, Anna left Spalding to attend university. Having said goodbye to too many friends, he became morose. He decided that he, too, would attend a university if only he had had a passion for something and spent many a night searching his mind for a vocation he could fold into an identity for himself. All he’d end up with was the memory of a blow job in a tulip field and the missed opportunity to pelt the brightly colored rows with thuds of his cum. He decided to put off any thought of formal studies to travel and visit other flower fields.
First he went to the lavender fields in Provence. The little market towns reminded him of home, with their old tourists and their bus tours. There he met Svania, a twenty-one-year-old German girl being dragged along on a family holiday, touring the region. They glanced each other sniffing oysters at an open market stall, making disgusted faces while taking in the whiff.
That night they met and walked along the dirt roads toward the purple lavender fields. They started kissing. He grabbed her, she grabbed him, and he was ready though the sticks of lavender were prickly on his bare butt. Still, when the time came he gently moved Svania’s hand to the side and took over to hold and aim. He came all over the sticks of lavender, and before pulling his pants up, bent down to inspect his handiwork.
After a full minute of silence, Svania asked him what he was doing. He explained that it was a fantasy of his. She became uncomfortable, and they walked back to the village sharing a spliff of tobacco and hash in awkward silence.
After that, he went to visit the most colorful flower fields he could find. He went to Japan’s Hitachinaka City, where the flora was selected and groomed to emulate a psychedelic cartoon. He went to the canola fields in China, then the sunflower fields in Spain—where he decided that this was his preferred flower for his work, with their large, porous pads in the center, slightly domed, presenting to him for their paint job—then the ones in Italy.
He continued, mostly in flower fields but sometimes in famous gardens, on topiary. He was aided at times by young women, and occasionally by men, but mostly he was alone and free to sling himself about as he pleased. Rumors started, mostly carried by the gleeful re-tellings of a few particularly enthusiastic helpers. He was nicknamed The Cum Slinging Spaldinger.
Selfies with tourists and social media fame came quickly. People would recognize him scouting out a fields and follow him around until he granted a picture. #flowercummer #spaldingflowerman #flowerman. His Instagram gained thousands of followers. One reporter tried to interview him about his philosophy, and another referred to him publicly as an “influencer.” He had fewer and fewer moments to himself to glob about the blossoms. Back in Spalding, the occasional fan letter began to arrive at the home he’d grown up in.
His parents were portly British provincialists. His dad had supported Brexit, though his mom didn’t care for politics. Both were horrified to learn about their famous son. “Why he would do such a thing?” his mother would ask, but her husband could not answer. When he tried, the man’s mind would hinge shut like an old wooden door making an unpleasant creaking sound.
Thomas, a young man heading the marketing department for an American sporting-goods company whose logo was an abstract representation of a flower field, was a fan. He decided to present the flower man with a sponsorship contract in the hopes of capturing a few headlines and an edgy, younger, fan base.
The Spaldinger lives in Los Angeles now, where he is the face of the re-branded avant-art sporting-goods company. Assistants paint flowers on various pieces of sports equipment. He cums on them. His work—beautifully lit and shot by some of the most skilled photographers in the business—is lauded.
He misses the bulb fields of his hometown, and finds himself lost in flower-field memories. He wonders when he will find time to travel again, now that Thomas always seems to have him booked for events.