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The Plant

Updated on February 9, 2013

I was only in my new rental apartment for a few weeks when I realized I wasn't as solitary an individual as my ex-wife had relentlessly tried making clear to me. I actually missed her incessant nagging. Getting a pet didn't seem practical since I had to work for a living and my former wife was depending on me to pay the mortgage on my ex-house.

So I invested in a nice potted plant. The plant was called a Dracaena and stood about 3 feet tall. To me it looked Polynesian so when I gazed at it I felt as though I could be on vacation, something I would probably never be on again. A little tag that someone had the good sense to stick in the dirt alongside the plant had some simple directions printed on it about how to take care of a Dracaena. The plant needed as much attention as I did so I felt akin to it and we hit it off immediately.

After a few weeks of doing exactly what the little tag in the dirt said to do I deviated from it ever so slightly and shoved some plant vitamin sticks in the dirt. What had I done? After a few days the plant looked sick. This always happens to me. I’m never satisfied. After digging in the dirt with a spoon searching for the sticks I realized the plant had sucked them all up. The Dracaena was wilting more and more each day. In desperation as I was leaving for work I put the plant outside by my back door hoping the fresh air would revive it.

My landlord was a very nice person, but he was a little slow. If you've ever known a person that when you talked to them they spoke so slowly and deliberately you felt you had to finish there sentences for them before your heart stopped, that was my landlord. When I arrived home from work that day and walked around to the rear of the house where the entrance to my apartment was, I unlocked my door and stepped inside. I glanced over by the window. The plant was gone. I breathed a sigh of relief when I remembered that I had put it outside. Why hadn't I seen it when I walked in? I stuck my head out the door and this time the plant was really gone. I searched the yard, then for some reason I looked over the fence in my neighbor’s yard. Nothing.

My landlord’s car was in the driveway which was unusual because he came home from work later than I did so he must have taken the day off. I rang his bell and when he answered the door I posed the likely question. What happened to my plant? Oh he said. That was your plant? I didn't know how it got there. I never saw it there before. After a long pause I said alright, sooo? Well he continued I don’t really care for that type of plant. It reminds me of a lot of snakes coming out of a pot. Yes I said, I know it’s not every ones cup of tea but I like it, sooo can I have it? I’m sorry he said it’s gone. I put it out with the garbage this morning. My mouth opened and nothing came out. I think it was dying he declared as if trying to make me feel better. As I ambled slack jawed to the back of the house again I thought to myself, I should just be thankful that I hadn't gotten a pet that he didn't like.

Comments greatly appreciated.


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    • profile image

      Ann M. 4 years ago

      Next time buy at Costco, and they will take back the almost dead plant. Did you try talking to it , playing music, singing - all this helps, I purchased two rose bushes - went to Florida . I think they felt abandoned. I don't think they'll survive . It's only a matter of time that they'll be removed - At least they blossomed and it gave me great joy to see the beautiful roses ! But now I feel sad when I look at them . They are slowly dying . Any suggestions for reviving once healthy rose bushes,

      Ann M.

    • profile image

      andrea arlene 4 years ago

      Well, Lee, I enjoyed this one because I don't have a green thumb either. My daughter sent me a plant several years ago and called it a "money tree." I'm deathly afraid if I don't water it, I'm doomed. :) Andrea

    • Leesleez profile image

      Leesleez 4 years ago from New York

      Thanks 866

    • loren866 profile image

      loren866 4 years ago

      I read your story about the plant and it was funny and it was exciting to read and no skimming either. I thought it was so great how you devoted your time and your energy taking care of this plant that meant a lot to you like taking care of a child or a pet. Your heart was definitely in the right place putting this love into this plant that it was sad that someone took that away from you and you actually drove all over the neighborhood looking for it. It was an amazing story and I loved it and it was touching. Very well done.

    • Leesleez profile image

      Leesleez 4 years ago from New York

      Thanks for reading Ellen. A sense of humor is needed now probably more than ever.

    • profile image

      ellen w 4 years ago

      Funny story..kept me chuckling ..and the addendum is well worth the read. very funny.

    • Leesleez profile image

      Leesleez 5 years ago from New York

      Thanks for reading.

      Addendum, The Plant

      Happy ending to the story. After a few minutes of regret, I got in my car and drove around the neighborhood for about 20 minutes in search of the enigmatic garbage truck, than I got an idea. Dunkin Donuts. There was my plant sticking out of the rear of the truck. It looked happy to see me. Strange but it revived itself and 8 years later it’s grown to be about 6 feet tall.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 5 years ago from Long Island, NY

      All living things deserve equal attention. Well done.