Sunday, June 1, 2008
The Poinsettia That Won't Die
It’s June and the poinsettia Kurt bought me for Christmas is still kicking. It even has some new leaves on it. I should take the foil wrapper and red ribbon off the pot because it is getting a little ridiculous. I don’t really like it here anymore, in the corner, like a ghost. It reminds me of Christmas at a time when my daughter smells like coconut suntan lotion and Off. It is contradictory. It is not good for my chi. It is bad fung shui.
But I can’t throw it away because, chi or no chi, killing it is also bad karma. I can’t kill it. I feel sorry for it. It’s alive. Kurt suggested planting it outside but I’m pretty sure it’s tropical and wouldn’t survive. That would be passive-aggressive if I put it outside on the deck. I decided to talk to the brothers Dewey and Fred, who live in the doublewide and who built a greenhouse out of a kit they ordered through the mail. They know about flowers. They would know what to do with it. Maybe they would take it off my hands. Or I could leave it down by the Dumpster with a note around its neck, “Please Take Me Home.”
”Wheel,” Dewey took off his Southern States cap and scratched his head. “If it was me Miss Van Cleaf, (it’s Van Cleave, not cleaf, but he can’t get that straight just like he can’t stop calling me “Miss” even though I told him, “Just call me Debi.”—of course I kind of like it—it’s charming.) “If it was me, Ida thrown that thing out right around New Year’s Day. Yes I woulda. Y’all want us to come and git it for you?”
You’d think we were talking about a troublesome animal, a possum in the barn perhaps or a squirrel in the swimming pool. Just in case I didn’t believe him, Dewey turned to his brother and said, “Fred, tell Miss Van Cleaf what you woulda done with that poinsettia, would you?”
Fred wiped his hands on a rag he’d taken from the back pocket of his pants and came closer. “I woulda throwed it out too Dewey.”
Since the brothers were no help, I considered giving up and keeping the thing till next Christmas. It’d save Kurt some money since he gets me one every year. I’d pretty much just ignore it like I had been doing. Now and then I walk by with a glass of water in my hand and if I think about it, I stop and pour it in. Maybe it’ll make it till Christmas. Of course the minute I resign myself to its life, it’ll croak.