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  • Today we said goodbye to one of the oldest living things in our apartment. This flower has been with me for at least twenty years. Deprived of attention, water and appropriate soil, it has endured when all other plants have fallen, through my twenties and thirties. It has constantly sprouted, and strived to move upward, tangling its sprouts around everything close enough.

    It kept its current position for a few years, because it had become totally inseparable from the hanging wire baskets in the kitchen window, where we keep onions and pine cones and suet balls and stuff. It seemed to thrive there.

    A couple of years ago, another potted plant that was brought to us as a gift brought with it some disease. It killed the leafed plants one by one over the past two years, leaving only the cactuses. Finally, only a few months ago, it struck even this one.

    I let it stand there, with the sticky goo on its leaves, for a while. It just didn't feel right to give up on it. I had seen what it was capable of. But my son and I have just planted nasturtium, relishes, lettuce, tomatoes, parsley and chives. I want to get rid of whatever kills plants in our home, before it's time to take them out of their little greenhouses.

    Today was the time. Despite the fever, the cough, the dizziness and the other stuff some nasty virus is doing to us, the boy was totally psyched about the idea of cleaning the windows. So we did. We dismounted the wire baskets, and cut the plant from it, piece by piece. It felt even sadder than I expected.

    Goodbye potted plant. Thank you for standing by me all those years. And I'm sorry I don't even know what species you were.
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