Cautionary Husband and I bought a house plant at the Home Depot a while back. Is it THE Home Depot, or just Home Depot? I feel strange putting a definite article before a store name for some reason. But by God, I won’t capitalize the “the.” We’ll just pretend it’s not there, yes?
So we bought a plant at a store. I don’t remember WHY we bought a plant. Maybe I decided we needed more plants in our lives. More life in our lives. I get these whims sometimes. We walked up and down the indoor plant aisle, and I stopped at this particular plant. It seemed to have been crushed all down one side of it not too long before we came around. Some of its leaves looked slightly wilted and were a darker shade of green than the rest of the plant. It broke my heart immediately. Obviously, I couldn’t let this plant risk another second in the evil home improvement store where no one would buy it and where maybe it would get hurt again and then likely thrown away. I had to rescue it.
We brought it home and put it in the sunniest spot in the house, a corner at the top of the stairwell, and hoped for the best.
The corner we placed it in, it turned out, wasn’t a corner we spent a lot of time in. Or any time, really. So we had to remember just by sheer MEMORY that there was a plant in the house and that it needed water. You know, ’cause we didn’t have enough stuff to remember already. During this time, it should be noted, I forgot to pay any bills at all for two months in a row because I was so utterly consumed with the failure that was my life.
Needless to say, the plant got worse. It drooped. The darker green wilted spots turned brown and dried up. Instead of bringing life into our apartment, it brought death. The slow, impending kind that is especially good at reminding us of our own existential dread.
I claimed the plant in the separation. It was a bitch to move, and at this point seemed to be barely clinging to life. I put it in a corner in my living room that needed a little something and is near a window. I began noticing when the plant looked particularly droopy and began watering it a little more regularly.
But things took a turn for the worse when Cautionary Dog began eating it while I was at work. It seemed to serve as a last vestige of his separation anxiety. And, honestly, I could deal. Better the plant than my books. I would come home from work and pick up a few more tattered leaf shards from the ground and ask Cautionary Dog what the hell he was thinking and go on with my life. That plant was surely on its way out, anyway.
And then the other day I came home from work at lunch to find a fresh, shiny, curled leaf, sticking straight up from the center of the plant, defying all odds.