“Sure,” I said after my friend asked me to watch her plants while she’s out of town for three weeks. I felt I could handle the job because I’ve kept an orchid and a jade plant alive for 10 years. I figured the little pine tree and the amaryllis plant would be a snap. They didn’t look menacing.
The amaryllis is the more cooperative one. I gave it water and it has produced amazing blooms, four in total; it is beyond gorgeous. The pine tree on the other hand, needs an attitude adjustment. The pine tree taunts me from my kitchen windowsill. When I get close to water it, it pricks me with its needles. It feels like it’s ready to be relegated to the curb for disposal. I am trying all my tricks: I’ve let it dry out between waterings. I’ve placed it on the same windowsill as where the orchid and jade plant reside. I’ve played classical music on the radio. Nothing is working. It remains, yellowing at the tips of its needles, getting drier by the day.
I have texted my friend a picture of the star pupil, the amaryllis, to show her the beautiful blooms. But the pine tree is my little sad secret. Maybe I should confess my transgression. It’s that or start playing requiems, the music for the dead.
O Tannenbaum, we hardly knew ye.
I’m Rosie Klepper and that’s my perspective.