Back in the Texas times of my second wife, I owned a lovely plant. Why, it was just like this one, the big succulent in the middle.
I purchased it as a child — the plant, not me — and raised it as my own. I fertilized and watered my baby, and she grew fat and heavy, eventually living a porch life in a large pot on wheels. You couldn’t heft her without a helping hand.
One day, my wife tossed me out like a hunk of rancid meat, and a strange thing happened. I wonder now if she was aware of what she was doing.
The heart is strange.
She let my baby die. I would go by the house now and then, so I witnessed its slow demise. I begged the woman to water her now and then. It wasn’t so much to ask, especially since my second wife was a fanatical gardener.
The rest of the yard was blooming happily. But my baby sat in her big pot on wheels looking more every day like a prisoner at Buchenwald.
Finally, she died of neglect.
A psychiatrist could make much of this.
* * * *
A couple of years ago, I found another baby of this variety downtown where I now live far away. It’s not a common plant, so I snapped her up with a smile.
I feed her, turning her many faces to the sunshine, and she is happy. And one day she will be as big as her predecessor, and I’ll need wheels for her pot.
I am making amends.