When she was born, her parents gave her a balloon-themed room. Balloon wallpaper, sheets, blankets, lampshades. And there were balloon bouquets at every birthday, every celebration. Now, she suspects maybe it was childhood overstimulation that caused her to hate balloons today. She can’t even remember a time when they made her happy. Instead, she dislikes them for the same reason she dislikes flowers: they always wilt and wither away. They remind her that so few things survive. There are enough things in her life that die, fade, wilt, or disappear. She finds joy in what little permanence she can grasp.