Before becoming a plant parent, I never understood why people would lease their lives to another living being for at least 16 years if not more. That’s a lot of time; the life expectancy of most people is 72 years and that’s without considering external factors like race or environmental hazards. As a black queer woman living in America, more than my biological clock is ticking. With the death toll of black people increasing every minute, I’m more aware of my time than ever. Not a second should be wasted on idle conversation, but as I stand here in this customer service line at Home Depot surrounded by other angst-ridden individuals with better places to be, I can’t help myself. If I’m stuck, I might as well engage in human interaction for the benefit of my social health. 

Surveying my immediate company, I’m unimpressed with the guy in front of me. He seems impatient if the tapping of his foot is any indicator but he only has one thing in his hand. A screwdriver, I think. Incredulous! If he was seriously in a rush, he’d just leave. One item, especially a cheap plastic screwdriver, isn’t worth an hour or more of any person’s time; yet here he stands. 

Leaning on my heels, I turn my head to the side and glance at the woman behind me. I like her; she has a plant. Actually, it seems sad, almost petrified if its yellowing leaves and half-broken stems were anything to judge by. What has she done to the poor thing? I no longer like her, plant killer. But what if it’s her first plant and she’s an accidental plant killer; manslaughter maybe? Maybe I can help.

“Hi; first-timer, huh?” I gesture my head to the decaying plant.

“Nah,” she shrugs her shoulders and jostles the plant causing dried dead bits of it to hit the floor, “just a failed experiment I guess. I forgot about it for a month.” She chuckles.

Does she think dead plants are funny? I quirk an eyebrow, “But you’re still a beginner, right? I feel for you, really. I had plenty of casualties when I first started out.” I let it go; she has to be a beginner.

“Nope,” she pops the ‘p’, “killing plants are my pastime.” She laughs, again.

This bitch. I bet she gets off on the sick satisfaction of starving plants sunlight and watches as they become decrepit. I clench my teeth in a tight smile and force out a dry laugh.

“Well, I’m a plant savior. L.O.Ls.,” I jest, “I could save some of your plants, you know? Living plants are a lot more valuable than dead ones. Plus, I bet you’ll save a lot more money, too”.