Tuesday, April 29, 2008
you say tomato . . .
This Sunday was April 27th, exactly 8 months since he first called me. And who'd have guessed that our relationship would be so prompt and aware of lunar calendars, but never fully aware of each other? My heart hurts. We have not talked since Sunday really, just passing glances down populated, working hallways. I want to hear his voice, and want him to miss mine. Nevertheless, I'll wait. There was no specific closure for either of us. He, masked by sunglasses, holding potted plants in arms too occupied to embrace my shrinking frame; curbside and so alone, it was only a "thanks for chatting" that ended our daisy tearing conversation. We visited the nursery that day. I bought a Wondering Jew plant to hang outside my kitchen window, such a beautiful color palette of sage and violet leaves now hang and need sunlight, demand water and crave attention. I am not Jewish, but feel the wanderer nonetheless. I will plant tomatoes and basil and hope that they flourish in my roof top's sunlight. A bag of potting soil, to be shared with him, sits heated and odoriferous in the backseat of my car. I will soon have to deliver my unused portion. The passing of the dirt. What metaphors, eh? The collective purchasing of plants to be nurtured, given new beginnings, seedlings that crave and require devotion . . . and then dirt. The literal unloading of our dirt onto each other, to be utilized for the purpose of nurturing simpler forms of essential life. Hmmm. It's sad and so very true, this relationship's demise. But how, I really wonder, that after 8 months without seeing a flower, a blossom or any fruit and receiving adequate care, did I ever think this plant, this man, would be fruit bearing? Winters are hard, weather is tainted by a warming of the globe and yet I still thought that he might change, and that I might be the sunlight to help him grow. Not so. My girlfriend told me just yesterday that I am but a girl standing, waiting and hungry beneath an apple tree hoping for a sweet, orange fleshed mango to drop. Alas, no mangoes, no apples either, just a tree with roots hidden down deep beneath the surface, protected by soil that might dirty my hands too much; grit forever stuck in my nail's beds. I hope that he can uproot himself, honestly. Because the saddest part of this scenario, my reality, is that I love a person who is focused on healing his own wounds - raking, tilling and excavating his earth - and yet can't allow himself the opportunity to flourish, fully. Without water we cannot survive, nor plants nor various arboreal types. And now it is time for me to tend to my own little garden, and hopefully watch it grow, threatened all the while by city air, unpredictable heat waves and water shortages. Maybe someday he'll come over for a caprese salad, an assemblage of roof ripened tomatoes and backyard basil, homegrown by yours truly. Or maybe, quite possibly and almost certainly, not.