I was to water her orchid. Never before had I cared for one. There’s an aggressive tenderness to the nature of the plant, to her behavior. Her needs need to be anticipated.
I watered her as instructed. I undressed her from her ceramic and released her, exposed, into a shallow pool of tap water. The duration, I don’t remember. “More than four hours”, I was told, was enough. “More than four hours, less than a day.” I did what I was told.
I drained the excess into the metal sink where I wash the dishes and pour cold coffee. I waited for her. That is how it works with the orchids. You wait. Used and unused, standing in a dance without movement.
Carefully, I redressed her, and nature blew a contemptuous breath that fell a flower, symmetric, stem intact. And I watched her abruptness sit me flat in my flawed attachment to meaning.
Because she can.