This is a cactus we inherited from our condo’s former tenants. It is sorely unloved. It’s thorns are needle-sharp, it’s irreparably soiled (I have knocked it over accidentally, repeatedly, and bits of dirt remain skewered on and between its hideous thorns). It is housed flimsily in plastic, living on a scarce palmful of potting soil mixed with whatever else was on the floor when I swept it up, for the fourth time.
If I have one green thumb, it bears the brunt of my opposite, sorrier digit.
Neville and I have named it Dave and curse it repeatedly by name. It has become the nexus of everything that is irritating and dissatisfying about the condo. In a last morbid effort at killing it, I have refused it sunlight and water for the past week or two. But it persists.
And, I have to admit, I have begun to feel sorry for it. Once, in the course of our banter, we discussed transplanting the stunted thing to a sandtrap at a nearby golf course. Now I think I shall carry out this plan — when the weather warms, when he (she?) might actually have a chance to thrive, if only for a season.
I have even entertained the hope that a good-humored golfer might take the cactus home. (Be well, small, fierce being.)
It seems like the best way to say goodbye.