The tulips can appear anywhere. Flickers in the air around a table, in a buttonhole, over a heart. I don't know if anyone except me can see them, but I gather them when I can find them, from wherever they are, and take them home. They're never in the same place twice, though they all look much the same - like glass so thin and clear it's barely visible, like a dream on the cusp of being tangible, like the ghost of a tulip, caught in mid-bloom.
I plant them out behind my home, row on row. They don't seem to grow there yet, except to take root, but with every new tulip I find, they gain a little more colour, a little more solidity - and so do I.
Put simply, they are the key to my life and my heart.
I died in a tulip field, on the day that the tulip bubble burst. I became the ghost of all the tulips in the field, and all the dreams that had been pinned on them. Only when I finally gather them all back together will I be whole enough to rest - or to return.
So, if you'll excuse me, I will be taking the tulip tucked behind your ear now.
Don't worry, it won't hurt.