There's this succulent thriving in my home.
I don't know how.
Nothing thrives here.
I keep the windows open.
Flies come in, die in the window frames. Little dusty corpses line the base being ground and raked by the opening and closing of the sliding window.
Waiting to be vacuumed, their final resting place.
Is it the succulent you bought after finishing that Baldwin novel?
Were we experimenting with sobriety then?
You usually pulled a healthy 2 oz from a bourbon bottle. So why was this time different?
Trying to create new traditions.
For all I know this could be a different plant entirely.
I barely remember how or when plants began, their stories impulsively entering my life to exist in months/years long state of entropy.
Slowing falling apart, starved of light and sun, or too much light and sun?
There was a boy once I was seeing for a small amount of time.
He had teeth like buttered-popcorn jelly bellies.
I told him they were beautiful and unique. A special part of him.
He grew succulents in his room under a lamp, a surreal blue UFO glow filling his room.
He worked at a nursery and talked about plants a lot.
It was strange being intimate with someone who cares about their job and talks about it endlessly.
I had plastic succulents in my room at the time. He picked one up and examined it with the eye of an expert.
"It's not real," I had said.
"That must be very depressing to see, considering how much you like succulents."
I don't remember what he said.
When I ended things through a text message he had protested.
I had kinda lied and told him I needed to prioritize time with my friends and family.
It wasn't a total lie though.
The truth was I had completed a major self-publishing project (major for me) and he hadn't really been that interested or curious about it.
The zine I gifted him, he had rolled a joint on and had left it in the backyard, bits of marijuana sprinkling the cover.
The wind eventually separating and scattering the unstapled pages across the patio.
When he had showed me his photography, a coffee-table book he had had printed of forests, I had spent time on every page, making observations and inquiring about his process.
When I ended things, he said I hadn't actually got to know him.
There was so much more about him that was fascinating.
I should see him in his element, the woods.
I told him he was really great and that it had nothing to do with him, I just needed to take some time to be with people that are close to me.
He told me he was at work and we'd talk about it later.
Then he sent me a screenshot of our conversation.
Then he told me that screenshot was meant for a friend for analysis.
I told him, "let your friend know I have plastic succulents."