Despite planting tomatoes, my thumb, it is not green. My houseplants must consider themselves miracles. They know they’re living in a household that claims to love them but, when times get busy, forgets about them entirely.
Eliina and I used to live in one-bedroom apartments stacked on top of each other like a cheap apartment club sandwich. Often she would venture from her piece of bread up to mine, and when I opened the door she’d instantly lock eyes on the plants. They never looked good. At best, they were pale and limp. At worst, dead. She would pick them up (in my memories, she’s murmuring to them, but maybe she doesn’t do that) and put them in the sink, where she’d fill the whole pot with water, let it filter through the soil, fill it again and then let it sit in the sink to drain. Emergency resuscitation.
I always imagined that this soaking/draining process felt so good to the plant. A few hours later, they’d be deep green and perky again, like the drought never was.
On Sunday night, I spent hours wandering around Lakeview by myself with a book, an apple pastry from the Chinese bakery near my house, and nowhere to be, the first non-scheduled time I’ve had in a while. Then Oriana and I met up and took a walk to the lake, where we laid next to it and looked up at the stars, the satellites, and the lightning in the approaching clouds. Laying near the lake does something to my brain, like the moment after the ambulance passes and there’s space where the sound was. Or like a wilty plant flooded by the faucet one time, and then again, and then left to wake up in the sink.