The solitary plant | Guy Verville
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The solitary plant

I only have one plant in the apartment. It came to my house in late autumn, because the neighbor’s young cats were having a hard time with her, uprooting her as if she were already dead prey. She was no longer beautiful to see, stunted, leaning towards a horizon whose geometry she did not seem to recognize.

It is a skinny false jasmine that Yves, my neighbor, persisted in keeping despite the mockery of Laurent, her husband. As soon as the weather allowed, he placed it on the back gallery and it could better enjoy the sun, even if one of our neighbors’ tall ash tree takes all the light, to Laurent’s great displeasure and his roses. Then, when the cold seasons came back, Yves would bring the plant back inside. But the arrival of cats has changed the situation. Perhaps the shy flowers with a rather heady scent turned their heads so much that Yves decided to take it up to my house before it died.

Since then, and to my amazement, the plant has bloomed more than usual. I have to say, I’m worried about it. I provide it with water every four days when my finger plunged into the ground no longer perceives any moisture. It must also be said that where it is, it enjoys the sun better, my room facing south. Winter helps, no tree is there to steal the necessary rays.

I never considered myself to have a green thumb even though my ex recently told me otherwise. I don’t remember that (I have trouble remembering, period, at least not these things). At first, I feared that the plant would not enjoy my company any more than it did with the cats on the ground floor.

My last concern with it is its loneliness. They say that plants talk to each other. Isn’t it said that trees are alert to pests? Isn’t it said that talking to plants does them a lot of good? The same is said of dairy cows, which, listening to Mozart, would give more milk than if they had to endure the musical choice of some DJs.

My plant is alone, busy extracting the elements that keep it alive from the earth. It is alone at night suffering my snoring. Yet it thrives, its ephemeral flowers emit their delicate fragrance. I, who don’t really have a fine nose, have to bend over them to discover their grandmother smell. Maybe that’s enough for the plant. It has no other choice at the moment.

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