Plants Growing on Rooftops

(We Clean Up Spills with Money)

victoria
Human Parts
Published in
2 min readDec 7, 2013

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But how could you convince somebody to do less of what they were doing? There were flower pots lining up alongside his roof; more of a bother than anything else, but he liked to see something growing. He watered the plants but he never watered himself. There were too many bad habits of his. He liked smoking and taking the wrong highways to the wrong places and leaving the dishes soaking in the sink for too long. Want something badly enough in this life, he thought, and you just might lose it. Carry something in your pocket long enough and it’ll be somebody else’s treasure before you know it. A Wednesday night miracle, a coincidence on the walk to work, a life we never really learned how to live. We clean up spills with money, play the music too loudly, we can’t pray anymore because it hurts our knees. We weren’t the kind of people you thought we were. The kind of people who washed the dishes, who cleaned the stovetop, people who knew how to live. Those people were far away and forgotten now. The only practical thing we do is keep all our letters in bags close to our beds, in case of fire. The curse of sentimentality — hanging down your bones like strings waiting to be snapped loose. Limbs like pipes instead of skin. Heavy like the smell of old lace inside closets, heavy like the words people say before they close the door, never come back, there are some goodbyes that sound like “forever” instead of “farewell.” But it’s impossible for somebody to do something less than what they’ve always done. It goes on and on, forever, like trees waiting to be cut down, the stagnant grief of it all, the impending doom within nature, the sureness of loss. One day the people will come armed with chainsaws. Listen: You will be excited for this. Nothing will have to rot itself away for death anymore. You scoop up your spills with money. You’re just a crack in the wall now, a stain in the ceiling and you have no idea how it got there. A pathway up to a heaven you’re not sure exists. The western man’s need to cry is greater than the bed sheet stains of the rest of the world. Here: here is the unbroken sadness of things, the tree that died on its own, the forest that has survived centuries, the heart transplant, one life trading itself for another. Here: take a drag off of a cigarette, take a hammer to the old ceiling, watch the mould growing between the cracks in the walls. We listen to the chainsaws, wonder if trees can grieve.

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victoria
Human Parts

now I am quietly waiting for the catastrophe of my personality to seem beautiful again, and interesting, and modern