The plant in my bedroom window is dying. My father, ever enthusiastic, bought it as a young creeper, leafy tendrils venturing over the rim of the pot. I merely saw an overgrown shrub that would repel the morning sunlight from my window and become a free haven for mosquitoes. But I did not deter him. And now it stands, in an obscenely red clay pot, obstinately dying in full view of all and sundry. The sun coaxes it from above the college wall next door almost every day. The wind is kind and the rain obliges with free showers. At least three times a day it is watered, tap water, drinking water, muddy water, leftover water, even some Aquafina I found lying around. But it's a stubborn plant, unnamed creeper, would-be adorner of a would-be poet's window. Die it will, and what a grand spectacle that shall be. Very inconsiderate and thoroughly bad-mannered, I think. If one wants to die, one ought to do it decently, out of the line of vision of those who do not enjoy such displays.
But I will not complain. It looks beautiful now, far more beautiful than it ever did when it was springy and horridly green. The leaves have all curled up into knotty brown bits, veined with dark gold. The branches reach upwards like ancient spidery fingers, clinging on to the grille as an invalid desperate to peer outside. A morsel of life drains from those fingers with every sunset, but they will not let go. It is beautiful, this creature suspended in time on the very precipice of its life, and the vitality ebbs from it, bathing the delicate tendrils and wistful leaves and even the hideous red pot in one last burst of golden light.
I know a satisfied plant when I see one. This one is, for taking hold of death and making it beautiful, even for mine incredulous human eyes.