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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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