Walking in the sun towards The Market, her armpits were reminded what moisture and potency felt like. The sun was beating and the breeze diluted the sting. Her attention was grabbed by her uncharted surroundings. The WindSurf Shop. Chronic Tacos. Jack in the Box. Somatic Body Piercing and Jewelry. The Library Coffee Shop. Another taco place. Broadway Video. The Market.
She stood outside the sleek automatic doors of The Market. Watching the succulents’ microscopic growth bursts. She would choose one to bring home with her. A plant that drapes slightly. A plant that became her own and could only belong in her room. Because it could only know those walls and window and sun. Any other window it would be different. Her room would help it thrive. She picked one. It was green and draped and is native to South Africa. It’s leaves have been described as pearls. And she realized that her logic was illogical. This plant was adaptable. As are the humans in and out of her life. Sun and water were this plant’s, with pearl shaped leaves, only necessities.
She walked up the sidewalk with the harsh shadows of the mid afternoon sun. She did her best to hold it at such an angle that it could drink in the sunlight. Her own shadow got in the way.
Inept at dressing for weather so warm, she wrapped, and tied her denim jacket around her waist, fumbling with the only hand she had free. Constantly having to readjust it as it slid lower than the hips, that would one day be used to hold much more than fabric, she cursed the sun and its fervency. Every time she readjusted, her new green life was knocked and jolted.
As she made stride, now focusing more on the green living organism hanging from her five fingers than on the shops and people around her, she thought of the image she was presenting to the world. A young woman just learning how to care for life outside of herself. A Young Woman who really likes walking and succulents. A young woman trying to find comfort in the small things. The truth is nobody was pondering her and her dangling plant.
Her room was cool and pleasant compared to the heat of the outside Long Beach. She set her succulent on top of her white book shelf, that was once nailed to her childhood room. She never realized how fond of her books she was, until the threat of being split from them was present.
The next day she would have brunch with her cousin and his finance. They would eat at a trendy place around the corner. It is a restaurant that was once a home. A craftsman style home. They would guess what the house looked like before its transformation. She would feel as though she were outside of herself as she flirted with the waiter and talked about her cousin’s wedding. She would talk about her plant and the image of her walking in the direct sun down Ocean Blvd with a succulent native to South Africa dangling from her hand. They would not completely understand the significance of the image or why she felt the need to tell the story.
She understood. It was more than just her and her plant.