Title comes from the wonderful Ashley at Pig Pile last night. I highly suggest going back into Vol 1 and reading her FMFs. They are weird. This title is weird. She is weird.
Bud, an elderly man, wakes up from his bed slowly. On the side table there is an old picture of a woman holding a daisy. There are notes written in nice handwriting around his house reminding him to do certain things. He dresses moderately and picks up a corded phone. Next to the phone is a list of phone numbers and he dials the number labeled Walter Jr. His son answers the phone and he tells Walter that he needs a ride to city hall.
We cut to the car ride and Walter questions Bud constantly. We get the sense that Bud’s wife died a bit ago and Bud’s been having a tougher and tougher time. Walter keeps telling him that his memory is getting worse but Bud shakes it off saying he gets by. He tells Walter not to worry about what he needs at city hall and tells him he’ll be out in a few and doesn’t need his help. Walter stands out in front of the car and calls his wife. He tells her that he hasn’t told his dad about them selling the old house and moving him out. His dad is stubborn and thinks he’s safe on his own but the two of them disagree. He tells her how his mother did everything and his father was a bit crotchety and never seemed to appreciate it. He is struggling with the fact it even seems Bud is forgetting his mother.
Bud returns to the car with a huge cardboard tube and gets into the car slowly and asks to be brought home. Walter asks about the tube and his father tells him it’s a map of the county. Walter brings it home and spreads it out over the kitchen table and looks like he is planning something. We cut to Walter Jr.’s house. His wife, Rachel, and him talk more about Bud. Walter talks about how terrible his father was to him and his mother. Rachel tries to comfort him but Walter is being an asshole. He spends the night on the couch.
The next day at work he gets a call from someone in town who said they saw his dad walking around. Bud isn’t known for getting outside much. They tell him another resident picked Bud up and drove him. Walter calls the other person and says Bud was just looking for someone to drive him around to certain spots around the county. Each spot seemed plain and unimportant and he would make a little mark on a notepad. Walter tells them that he is worried about his dad’s mental health.
Walter goes to find his dad that afternoon and finds the house empty. He sees the map and there are marks all over it. He makes a point of where one mark is and heads out to see what is going on. He reaches a spot and doesn’t see anything. He heads to another and another and doesn’t know what is going on until he notices a small patch of daisies. He backtracks and finds each spot includes a small patch of daisies.
He heads back to his dad’s house and finds him being dropped off by another neighbor for another trip out. He follows his dad in complaining to him about how Bud is endangering himself. Bud tells him to quiet down and that he’s thinking. Bud heads to the table and starts marking the map. Walter is getting angrier and yells about how marking down his mother’s favorite flowers doesn’t make up for the pain he caused. Walter yells how he never even bought his mother flowers no matter how many mistakes he did wrong. This map doesn’t count as his penance.
Bud sighs deeply and tells him that this is a map of his penance His wife never let him buy flowers so each time he did something wrong he’d go out around town and plant daisies somewhere else. He knew then when his wife would go about town she would constantly be reminded how much he loved her and how sorry he was. Bud starts pointing at the map and telling him about fights and mistakes that correspond with each plot of flowers. He starts to cry, something Walter has never seen. Bud says he hurt her so much and he knows remembering is hard for him, but these flowers and this map help him remember. Even if the only parts he can remember are the pain he caused, it’s still remembering his wife. He’d go through any amount of pain just to picture her face in his head.
Walter looks at him sternly and nods his head. He tells his father to get in the car. They ride together and visit some more spots of daisies and he helps his dad mark down each one and bring them back to the map. He heads home but stops by a few spots and plucks some daisies from each. He enters his home and presents Rachel with the flowers. He holds her tight and tells her he loves her more than anything in the world. She laughs and tells him not to worry. Walter tells her that he’ll do whatever she wants him too. Rachel tells him to sit down and they’ll order dinner. They sit together talking and laughing.