In the morning I move my philanthropy, my Neanderthal, my duodenum, wait wait, my philodendron, yes, my last fly-infested hanging plant outside to join the other patients on the patio ward. I was hoping she wouldn’t succumb like the others; I’ve had her since 1998, the year I bought my first house. She’s been through everything with me—the moves, the divorce, all manner of drunken horseplay, but—like me—she lived through it all with few complaints, managing to grow and mature despite the dark corners. She’d get a little bushy now and then, sprout a wild tendril or a yellow leaf, but what girl doesn’t.
I walk her through the house with a heavy heart, my sick baby crawling with flies in her crocheted swing. I open the sliding glass doors and leave her outside, sitting on top of my plastic utility cupboard in the one hundred degree heat. If she was a real baby, I would be arrested. If she was a puppy, I would be reviled. But it’s either me or her, and if she doesn’t make it, at least I thought to amputate some of her shoots before shoving her into the oven. At least I still have those, rooting for her in a vase.
I come back inside, into the coolness of my house, and go to shower. Standing naked with water cascading all around me, I glance at the label on my shampoo and notice that it guarantees to preserve my sanity—that’s what it says on the bottle—and I think, how smart of me to choose this brand. This is exactly what I need. I happily clean myself and wash my hair, but since it seems almost too good to be true, this cleverly appropriate shampoo, I look at the label again. I have transposed the letters to make “sanity” out of “satiny”. Disappointed, I chastise myself for being so naïve, for always believing in the impossible.
It's not even noon.