I would concede that my descriptions over simplify reality exactly to the extent that they are misinterpreted.
I had wanted the room with the windows but it didn’t work out that way. Instead, my plants and I have taken refuge in the walk-in closet where we sit around a bare light bulb trading ghost stories. While I have finally succeeded in wrecking my marriage, there remains only one way out of this mess and that is to go through it.
When I was younger, I used to keep snakes, an endeavor that may or may not have required weekly trips to the pet store to bring home mouse happy meals. Snakes tend toward the strong, silent type and can be difficult to get along with because, lacking the gift of facial expression or the ability to learn sign language, communication is not their strong point.
“Are you hungry?”, I would ask my serpentine friend and then wait patiently for a vision or a smoke signal. Once I thought I heard it’s forked tongue say, “Stick your hand in here and find out”, but in reality no response was forthcoming.
Unlike their devilish human counterparts, snakes do not kill for sport which meant that on many occasions the mice were left to their own devices to kill themselves. An unmotivated reptile will watch unblinkingly as one panicked creature after the next would drown in the water bowl, die of dysentery or break it’s neck falling from the rafters, all in an attempt to escape a predator that didn’t want it in the first place.
Naturally, the plants were horrified on the evening I chose to share that little gem with them.
Some ghosts are living and some ghosts are dead.
Some books stay open,
after the final page has been read.
On a hot summer night, too hot for my bed,
I met a pigeon in a parking lot with an upside down head.
Unable to fly,
and with down-turned eyes,
These crumbs on the sidewalk are the stars in my sky.
When you talk to plants their leaves shimmer and quiver, curl and wither, depending on what you tell them. Their bodies, like ours, consist mainly of water. Water that rises with the tide, sits like glass in the moonlight and rages in the wind. Water giveth, and water taketh away. Water becomes the shape of it’s vessel.
Crowded in a tight circle, their sweet faces pale with incandescent light, the plants listen patiently to my stories but one by one they have to agree that this dim imitation is not the sun. “We can’t live this way”, they tell me.
“I know”, I say, “but please hang on a little longer. I will find us a new room with lots of windows very soon.”
They nod and say, “We hope we’re still here when you do.”