Dialogue with Z about the difficulties of taking care of a plant

H and Z are in the center of Z’s room. H is sitting on a chair next to the desk. There are boxes everywhere because Z is moving out. Z is sitting on the bed having a conversation with H. H is recovering from the ingestion of magic mushrooms.

Z: Do you wanna pet my plant now? (Reaching out to H with a plant on her hands) You said no to my plant last time.

H: (Accepting the plant and placing it on her lap). Yes, thank you. Sorry. Last time I was here, I wasn’t in the right state of mind.

Z: (Standing on her bed and taking pictures off the wall). I love petting my plants.

H: Do you think they can feel you? I dont’ think they can. They don’t have a brain or a sensory system to feel how you caress them.

Z: Well, I think they can sense something. You know, there is a change in their system. They respond to other stimuli, so I feel like they can sense you in some way.

H: I’m sorry, but I don’t like plants as much as you seem to like them. They don’t have a brain. I like dogs better.

Z: I’m not saying they are the same thing, all I’m saying is that plants can feel you and I love petting them.

H: Yes, yes, I see, I see. (Petting the plant). But I think it’s easier to take care of a dog than to take care of a plant.

Z: Are you serious? (Organizing a pile of photos on her hand). Of course not! It’s way easier to take care of a plant. They only need water. A dog needs you to take him on a walk, food, love, going to the vet. They need you to clean after them and they need more space. It’s a lot of work to take care of a dog!

H: (Looking at Z while Z is taking more photos off the wall). But a dog is not defenseless like a plant is. If they need something, they’ll let you know. They’ll bark if they are unhappy, scratch on the door if they are hungry, vomit on your floor if they are sick. A plant is prone to forgetfulness and to death because they have no voice, no movement, no way to remind you that they exist and they need you. That is what makes it difficult, at least for myself, to take care of a plant.

Z: (Making eye contac with H). Really? So are all of your plants dead?

H: No. (Looking down. Slightly sad. Handing the plant back to Z). I just don’t have any plants. I can’t forget them and let them die if I never have them to start with.

Z: (Takes the plant back). What a coward, my friend.



Credit: Octavio Ocampo