Friday, November 14, 2014

Based on True Plant-Related Events

I don't have anything to blog about right now, so instead I'm opening my coat. What follows is 1,000ish words of an exercise I wrote for my workshop class this semester. I didn't like the way the remaining 500 words turned out - too tidy - but I liked this first 1,000. I hope you like it too.

Day 7. Plant still not dead. I think this is a personal record. Instead of watering every day, I've been watering only when it seems to need it. Is this what I should've been doing all along? More natural? I guess God doesn't water every day like clockwork. But God doesn't water every time plants are dying, either. God waters when God chooses to water. The end.

 I wish Jacky was here to see Plant. He'd be so proud of its not-deadness. Or, if not proud, exactly (because keeping a plant alive for a week isn't generally something third parties show pride about), at least surprised enough to make me laugh. I think that's what I miss most (today, at least) - the way just his face could make me laugh. 

Day 9. Plant still not dead. Do I need to add soil? It's very cool that plants kind of have all they need w/ sun & water, the miracle of photosynthesis, but would Plant be doing better with Miracle-Gro?

Should Plant need to be doing better than not-dead?

Do I need Plant to be doing better than not-dead?

Dr. Steph today. She's so sympathetic I want to push her face in. Treats me like glass, like everybody does. I'm not glass. I'm not spun sugar. Tell me why I'm not that sad, Dr. Steph. I dare you. I double-dare you, motherfucker. Maybe then we'd have some real therapy instead of just bullshit Twenty Questions.

And tell me why I can't just call you Dr. Houseman. That would give our relationship some dignity. As it is I feel like a pediatric patient.

Day 14. Plant. still. not. dead. I'm starting to worry. I don't think I've ever kept a plant alive for two weeks before. This isn't the one I would've picked, either, if I wanted to pick a plant to keep alive beyond all betting. It's not useful, like basil or parsley, or even pretty. It's just a waxy potted thing with heart-shaped leaves and no flowers. Philodendron? I don't know plants. I kill them too fast to remember their names.

Day 16. Still not dead. Dr. Steph again. I wish she was an African violet. A fragile, well-groomed plant that would die within half an hour of sitting in the same room with me.

(Later) I don't wish her ill. I don't want some FBI agent reading this one day and thinking I cut her brakeline or something, because Lord knows she could die in a weird accident just like Jacky and then I'd be on the hook for them both even though I didn't do anything. I don't wish anybody ill, really. (Maybe Christine from my old job. But she was rotten on the inside, like a Blow-Pop filled with botulism instead of gum.) I just thought therapy was supposed to help. Dr. Steph is so certain she knows how to treat me that she doesn't listen to what I'm saying. And that means I don't want to tell her much of anything. If I came right out and told her I don't think I'm sad enough about what happened to Jacky, I feel like she'd just smile ruefully and say "What do you think that means?" Or she'd do a Therapist Phrase: "What does 'sad enough' mean, anyway?" or "I'm not here to judge you, Sara, so don't ask me to" or "We all grieve in our own way, and your way isn't wrong." I'm not grieving, you over-degreed twit, I've just skipped right to acceptance about my boyfriend's death. Don't ask me what it means. Just help me figure out why.

She's like Plant. Plant has a limited number of ways to interact with me: normal, wilting, dying, dead. Whether I give it water or not, Miracle-Gro or not, loving cuddles or not, it's restricted to those reactions (failing an unlikely Little Shop of Horrors mishap). Dr. Steph's the same way. She's like a parrot. Or a Speak 'n' Say. Confined to prerecorded dialogue.

Without walking back my non-sadness, I do wish Jacky was here to download and debug all this with me. He'd know just what to say about Dr. Steph to make me stop worrying.

Day 20. PLANT STILL NOT DEAD. It has new tender little leaves, and old, fragile, golden ones that are easy to pluck away. I'm really kind of freaking out.

Sara still not sad. I miss him, like I said last time. I'm sorry about the accident, and sorry about my contribution to it. But I'm not devastated. I'm not overwhelmed with guilt. I, a stack of papers on a wood floor does not inevitably lead to death, right? Jacky was clumsy. He was always saying I'll be the death of me. I just happened to leave harmless items, papers and a footstool, arranged so that Jacky would slip on one and break his neck on the other. How can I blame myself for that? Dr. Steph? Mom? Mrs. Owens? Jasper? I can't. Accidents are accidental.

I guess it's like the plants (again. Is everything like the plants?). I don't know why I killed every plant that came into my care until Plant. I watered them. I talked to them. I put them in the sun. They died. Every single one. No matter what I did, no matter whether I cared for them thoughtlessly or zealously, they died.

Everything dies eventually. Jacky would have died whether he'd slipped on those papers last month or on a banana peel in sixty years. Plant will die, too. I knew that the moment I picked it up at the funeral parlor. A gesture from some coworker of Jacky's. Jasper told me to take it. No one else wanted a plant. They all wanted flowers. I knew I'd kill it, but I took it anyway. I couldn't say no to Jasper, his face so like Jacky's that I wanted to kiss its grief away.

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