Coming Into Ficus

It was around September when I bought the indestructible Aloe vera plant, which is currently residing in/ overtaking the built-in shelves of my old Dallas apartment. I looked it up once and my apartment was built in 1963, which by Dallas standards is old, but by other cities standards would be practically brand new. The 1963 part is also important because it’s the year Dallas got the nickname “City of Hate” after being the scene of one of our most popular presidents last breath. You’ve come through a lot little apartment.


It was around September because it was the last time I spoke to you, which means it was the last time you lied to me about having a girlfriend, the last time out of too many times, out of too many places, out of way too much of my life, all given to this absolutely self-destructive pattern of behavior we seem trapped in. Sometime near the end of September.
So, I bought one plant and signed up for one introduction to improv class, and I became an absolute cliché, but in the absolute best way. I think I had this weird idea that if I could just focus on sustaining this plant life and this laughter that everything else might come into focus. Into ficus. It’s been eight months of trying to keep this plant alive and trying to figure out if I should keep doing this comedy thing. And now I’ve had to move the Aloe to a bigger pot three times, and I’ve had to stop writing this article eight times to respond to fb message and snapchats from people I’ve met through comedy. Things change really quickly.

 

I’m not always the best plant mom, sometimes I forget to water it, sometimes I get a bad sunburn, and I break off some of its limbs and rub its insides on my own skin. I’m not sure normal moms do that to their children. Also, improv isn’t always easy and laughs, I’ve shed some light, but real tears, not improv tears. I think to really play someone else in a scene you have to be very comfortable with the person you actually are and I think that can be a very tough and frightening thing to confront.

Especially when we haven’t always made the right moves in our lives, especially when it comes to me and you. I’ve had to play the unsuspecting girlfriend and I’ve had to play the dumb blonde and I’ve had to figure out how far away those people are from who I am, and then a few weeks ago, as I looked over the edge of my beer I had to see you. We moved away from the group and talked at a small table for a little bit, and I felt okay. I wasn’t being “the girl who’s fine in the scene.” I was fine in the scene; I was fine in my life. I didn’t have to pretend and I didn’t have to lie to make myself feel better; everything was, for that moment, absolutely okay. And you left and we haven’t spoken since and we don’t need to, and we are both going to be fine in our own, now very separate ways and I’m going to have to buy a bigger pot for my Aloe plant again.

 

Author’s note: This piece was originally written as part of an ongoing series for the blog MeganRadke.com

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