What, hello, hello, what?
My colleague across the hall likes to ask me if I have "anything new or interesting" to report. The answer is always, always no. No, there is nothing new and certainly nothing interesting. No.
It is becoming a sort of principle on which my entire life is predicated, this complete lack of novelty and interest. That is perhaps why I have not said anything here for two weeks, and that was a dream about tooth spiders.
But, then, who am I to presume that you would rather read about things that are interesting or new? Maybe you prefer the old and the dull. Maybe you have been thinking, "Oh, everyone is always telling me about interesting new things! That sort of stuff is so predictable and easy to find. What I would really like, and no one ever offers me, is some good, stale tedium."
If so, join me, won't you, over a nice cup of the boring detritus of my unglamorous life?
The gardener (who is employed by our landlord and usually comes and goes on his own mysterious schedule, leaving things attractive and doused in toxic chemicals) rang the bell the other day to tell me that one of my trees was dying. I do not think it is dying, I think it is manifesting its deciduous nature, about which I was warned by the nursery when I bought it.
But the gardener assures me that it is dying, and that the problem is its pot. It is currently sitting inside a nice wooden planter, not yet freed from the pot in which it was purchased. The pot in question is one of those weird paperish pots that you can supposedly pop right into a hole in the dirt and let disintegrate. The gardener tells me that the tree is dying—and surely he would know if a tree was dying? better than I would, right?—because the pot does not drain. But when I water the tree, the pot manifestly does drain. And how could a pot whose problem is (also?) probably that it is turning to dirt itself pretty quickly also be killing the tree inside it by not draining?
In any case, this weekend I have to go find a tree-sized plastic pot that will please him. "These pots," he says, indicating the other, non-deciduous trees, are fine. "Get one like that." I don't know what he will say when the tree continues to turn yellow and drop all its leaves after I put it in a shitty plastic pot. Or we could get some dirt, which will be heavy, and plant the thing right in the planter, after which it will still die, or "die." Either way.
A SHORT LIST OF THINGS JANE HAS BEEN SAYING ALL THE TIME, WITH THE MANIFEST, AND MANIFESTLY MISTAKEN, IMPRESSION THAT THEY WILL BE UNDERSTOOD
- Ducky (nb: whatever this means, it is definitely not "ducky")
- My key (nb: whatever this means, it is definitely not "my key" or "Mikey")
"Babetz" is actually the least mysterious of these, oddly enough, because she always says it at the table, and has recently occasionally been pronouncing it a little more like "mawetz." Ah. Babetz = more water. Of course. That should help with the ducky and the keys.
She also answers all questions "no." Whether they are phrased in a yes/no format is immaterial. It is a sort of gentle, chiding "no," a touch condescending. "Noooooo," you silly person, no.
Q. Do you want more beans?
A. [reaching for more] Noooo.
Q. What do you mean when you say "ducky"? Ducky?
A. No, no. Ducky! Ducky! Ducky ducky ducky.
Q. What do you think of that toast, Jane?
A. Noooo. No.
In conclusion, obviously very advanced.