Monday, April 9, 2012

Day 9: Pobject's aloe plant

She stopped at the door and turned to take stock one last time. The apartment was nearly empty, now that she’d packed her things in her car. He’d never had much to his name.

Three white plastic milk crates stood in one corner, each stuffed with cassette tapes, most of them bootlegged. There was a slim blue Fender guitar, leaning lazily on the milk crates. In the other corner stood a black wire bookshelf, filled with poorly-folded clothes. A grey hoodie hung limply from one corner of the shelf. The dull hardwood floor was strewn with mismatched sheet music, small tools, and unwashed silverware. The window in the far wall’s center was open, wind billowing the light brown curtains.

An hour earlier she’d imagined toting the crates of cassettes to the window, crate by crate, and dumping them, crate by crate, onto the street three stories below. She imagined how the morning sun would wink off of their plastic cases, a school of shining fish falling to the ground in a silver waterfall. She’d smiled at that thought, but she’d left the crates alone.

For a moment it was quiet. From the kitchen she heard the leaking tap,
pip pip pip on the bare steel bottom of the sink. Then the wind picked up and blew the curtains aside. For the first time since he’d gone at sunrise to look for work, she noticed the pot at the far left edge of the windowsill.

She set her last bag down at the door and crossed to the window. The pot was six inches high, plain terra cotta with a thin crack from top to bottom on its near side. The aloe plant was no taller than its pot, three thick juicy, spiky sprigs. She reached out and pinched one tenderly with her fingernail, and a tiny bead of sap oozed out.

She plucked the pot from its place and rested it in the crook of her arm. The wind picked up again, but the sun was warm. She went to the door again. Retrieving her bag, she was gone.

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