19 August 2005

On Being Green

Before we met, Victor killed a cactus. In college, a spider plant died in my care, a plant which—I’d been assured—is impossible to kill. I even killed one of those air ferns.

(Don’t ask me how.)

When we moved in together back in 1991, Victor and I were reluctant to add any other form of life to our household. Cats made us both itch and sneeze and dogs were too much of a commitment at that point in our lives. And we were both still smarting with a guilty sense of our inadequacy with regard to plant life.

Years later, after we’d relocated to Columbus and had bought our own house, we were at Victor’s mom’s place in Los Angeles admiring its greenness. There are potted plants scattered throughout her condo, lined up outside her front door, and overflowing her balcony. We told her we wished we could have lots of plants like that, but our plants always died.

“Mine die, too,” Victor’s mom said. “I just replace them. Nobody knows the difference.”

Sometimes a revelation is so stunning, it really is like a light bulb goes off in your head.

Since then, we’ve always had plants. Some of them live a while, too.

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