I must have a talk with my philodendron. I noticed, last night, that its leaves were drooping, but I was too tired to do anything. I’d had dinner with my older sister who announced that she intended to marry someone she met on the internet just weeks before. He was fifty-two and broke, having lost everything at the track. “And he’s Jewish, too! Isn’t that a hoot?” She bounced on the vinyl seat of the booth opposite me, like Humpty Dumpty with earrings.
Before dinner, I’d visited my mother-in-law who’d told me she was ready to die. A normally active and ambitious woman, she’d had a bad cold that lingered too long. She looked grey and tired. “I’m ready,” she told me.
“I’m not,” I’d answered.
Lunch with my mother was a wild affair. She lived in the dementia wing of the nursing home near my home. We sat alone together at a square table meant for four. I peeled back the Saran wrap from a plate of Rugulah I’d made that morning and pushed it toward her. “Have one, Mother.”
A woman passed by.
“She’s a Nazi,” my mother said loudly.
We sat for a long while, talking and not talking. When I rose to leave, my mother looked up at me politely and said: “Give your mother my regards.”
I woke this morning and approached the wilted plant, watering can in hand. I ran my hand over a soft, broad leaf. “I know exactly how you feel.”