Tuesday, June 27

Black Dust

There was a fine layer of black dust all over my sill and upon the succulent leaves next to my window; but did it come from the streets or cigarettes? Perhaps it bellowed up from the streets three floors below, or perhaps ash. I could run my finger through it, drawing a line whose edge was bold with the black dust that had made way. While watering the plants, I was distracted long enough for the water to spill, and there too it pushed aside the black dust into a distorted circle; and I watched the water evaporate. I took some toilet paper, dampened it and cleaned the leaves. The leaves changed colour. Very delicate. It was an untapped source of relaxation, cleaning the leaves, I thought. It is strange, I remarked to myself, that, in lieu of pets, plants become a sort of stand-in. After a while, I got some more damp toilet paper and carried on cleaning, ensuring the leaves were their most vibrant, as though preparing them for a date. Ah, but the plants had suffered a loss! Three days previous I had been asleep with the windows open while the weather turned; a hard wind sailed the blinds into pushing the plant from my sill. I awoke with a start! Was I being burgled? After a few moments I saw the pot on the floor and the soil. It was a plant my ex had left me – either as an act of generosity or apathetic to its reclamation. In the morning I shovelled it up and put it inside the bin.

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