Liberated Dissonance

“No, that’s just trying to return to the status quo,” she said.

Plants grow from between the tiles. Their little stalks have broken through the grouting and sprouted, looking like a rainforest of moss and tree in miniature.

“Why do you leave it?” her boyfriend asked. “I’d be so pissed if I was your landlord.”

“It’s good to see things growing where they’re not wanted,” was her answer. And that was true. “And sometimes you need to break things to move on.”

“That reminds me of that Japanese thing, kintsugi or something — where you fix up broken things, and, you know, not try to hide the damage but, like, make the cracks and stuff beautiful with gold inlays and shit.”

She laughed. “No, that’s just trying to return to the status quo. Make a pretty thing whole again. Think of Schoenberg — he wanted to break down tonality in music. Make a mess of things. Show that music can be free of our expectations and the status quo and still be beautiful.”

“What the hell are you on?”

“Sometimes broken things should stay broken to make space for new things,” she said. It was good to break things, and that was true as well.

“I’ve never even heard of — who? — Schoenberg?”

She pondered the little plant, the tile-sproutling, and wondered if it was time yet to break up with this person. To grow into new things.

The grouting would be broken apart. And the underlying concrete bed crumbled, transformed into dirt for roots.