Brianna’s coworker gave us a plant. It’s one of those types that you water twice a year and leave alone. Californian, maybe. Its leaves are fat like an Aloe plant’s, but they are sharp at the edge, too. So sharp in fact that one leaf punctured another leaf and now grows up and through it. What does it mean for a plant to stab itself? Nothing. And if I were to tell you that the plant used to belong to Oprah, would it mean more then? Nope. Still, I thought I should share the news of this strange plant, which needs no water, attacks itself freely, and used to belong to America’s most popular talk show host.
Most of this comes from Brianna: Two cars crash into each other in front of our apartment. “Crunch.” Everyone is OK. “Shit,” a man says. Those are his only words. I don't know what the other driver said. The guy came out of his car and just started looking around at the glass in the street, as if to say, “Did all of this come from me and my car?” Meanwhile, he was blocking rush hour traffic. There were many horns going. A line of cars stiffened up and down Kedzie.
Brianna felt sorry for the guy because clearly his car was wrecked to the point that it would not start. The unexpected pressures of causing an inconvenience after you yourself have been hurt—that is the worst.
But no, after standing around for 10 minutes, the guy got back into his car, started it without conflict, and backed up to allow traffic to resume. By now cars were stopped for blocks and blocks in each direction.
Later, when I took Lorca out after work, I saw a side mirror on the curb. The glass was spidered, as they say, but still in place. A few wires reached out of the plastic molding. That’s sort of cool, I thought. And a bit funny, too. This mirror like an eye looking up at me from the curb. I’ll put it in my office. I felt goofy and somehow powerful. I ride a bike and do not have to worry about my car splintering all over the road and being a dumb mess. That sort of thing.
Hours later I remembered that there was half a six-pack left in the trunk of Brianna’s car. I went outside to get it. When I was walking back up the front stoop, the six-pack’s wet paper bottom ripped, dropped out, and two of the three beers popped open the cement steps. Ale dribbled down the stairway and glass shards peaked up from where a welcome mat would be. I could see that these lost beers were the result of my hubris with the mirror. I went upstairs for a broom.