Esquire Theme by Matthew Buchanan
Social icons by Tim van Damme

26

May

Pruning

Whenever a new person - a friend or neighbor or family member - first entered the house and happened upon the talking plant, he or she would find his or herself rather fascinated, respectively.

"Well I’ll be damned if that isn’t a talking plant."

"Let’s be honest, hun. With an ass like that you’re damned either way. Holy hell that thing is nice. But who am I to preach? I’m a talking fern. Find me a holy book that even grants my people the common courtesy of damnation, let alone salvation or even a slap on the wrist for chronic masturbation!"

"Can plants… do that?"

"Haven’t figured it out yet! But stick around long enough and we’ll see if we can’t work it out."

And the plant was interesting and the plant was well-read and the plant was insightful and charming but in the end it was just a talking plant. As soon as people realized that fact, it became a burden over everything else. And why not? It’s just a talking plant. What good is it? It’s only slightly more useful than a regular plant that can’t talk, and the plant that can’t talk never annoyed anyone or said the wrong things.

The talking plant didn’t understand that it was simply an entertaining decoration. It didn’t understand that it was just supposed to be there and talk when people wanted to see it talk for the sheer novelty of it all. So the plant sat there in the corner of the room, day after day, being pleasant and saying “good morning” and asking “how are you?” for the hopeful benefit of those passing by. Then there were times when the plant would witness fights. People in the house would scream and cry and storm off and mostly the plant just wanted to follow them as they stormed off to try and comfort them and maybe its words would be helpful, but it couldn’t. The plant was stuck in its pot where it had been set. It was all quite frustrating, but the most frustrating part of being stuck in that damned pot was that nobody was ever there for the plant and the only way its words ever made an impact was if its target audience was in the same room as the plant. No, the most frustrating thing about being the damned plant stuck in that damned pot was that the talking plant was always there when people needed it, conveniently so. Because that’s where they had put it.

The problem was that even with all of its verbalized wit and charm and humor, the plant was only worth words. It was “just a talking plant.”

But this didn’t sit well with the plant and one day it simply yelled out “I am not JUST a fucking talking plant!” It’s little fern leaves quivered and pulled in a deep breath of carbon dioxide - because that is what plants breathe in - and it shouted again “I am a fucking TALKING PLANT! Why is that not significant to you fucking people?! Do you not understand how impossible that is?! Do you get that I am a serious rarity?!” It was a brief moment of earnest vanity, but given the circumstances, the plant would allow itself that outburst. “You people put me in this fucking pot and leave me hear and limit my potential! Christ, just transplant me outdoors where I can grow and provide shade and maybe bear fruit and flowers for you! Or put me in a radio studio and my words will become useful!”

Some of the people in the house felt like bad people so they apologized but the plant wasn’t aiming at a guilt trip and knew their sorry’s were self-serving. But it was better than nothing so the plant let it be.

A couple other people in the house said “No, a moody fern that can talk simply won’t do. We’ll get a new plant that maybe talks less or not at all and it will be more mysterious and attractive and practical,” and the talking plant was put on the side of the road where a squirrel found it and planted a nut in its potted soil.

The nut wasn’t much of a talker, but the plant was content with its company.