Bitter Fruit

11th April 2002

A few days ago, the Home Depot nursery seduced me. I purchased many blooming, good-smelling things and the terra cotta pots to go with them. I hummed all the way home, changed into some grubby clothes, and planted three pots of basil, some sage, thyme, red and yellow ranunculus, a happy red geranium, marigolds, small yellow roses, and a flowering cactus thingie.

I finished potting, swept the sidewalk, cleaned the dirt from under my nails, and arranged the pots artistically in front of my new apartment. I was about to sigh with deep satisfaction when my city-girl side said, Someone is going to steal these cheery little babies the minute you turn around, dearling. I frowned. Then my sunny optimistic side interrupted, Oh, shut up. Strangers give you directions, people offer their seats to pregnant women, five people held doors open for you just today. People are basically good. Why would anyone steal your precious flowers? I set my chin, watered carefully, and went inside to primp for an evening out.

When I got back home, they were gone–every last pot. People are bad, and I no longer like them.