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Two years ago I bought a fig tree. It was at once a thoroughly calculated and yet impulsive buy. I'd wanted to get a fig tree, I'd thought about getting a fig tree, I'd researched where I could even get a fig tree in Chicago, if you could even grow a fig tree in Chicago. And then I ended up purchasing one at a farmer's market outside my train stop. I was on my way to work when I spotted it at a stand, handed over $20, and lugged it home. I was late to work that day.   [caption id="attachment_46514" align="aligncenter"...

I don't remember the first time I read Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. It was in my adult life, that I know, well past high school, years past college. Maybe even after grad school. I don't remember why I chose to read that particular novel. I don't remember the motivation behind purchasing the book. I don't remember whether I picked it up at a Borders on a whim or whether I ordered it intentionally online. I don't remember if I saw it mentioned in a TV show or if someone recommended it to me. I don't remember anything about the...

If you asked him, he'd tell you that I cry at everything. And, I suppose, in some ways, that's true. Because the girl he met did cry at everything. The girl he met was timid, shy, anxious, innocent, naive, emotionally unstable. Crying was her knee-jerk reaction to anything, everything she couldn't handle. And there were a lot of things she couldn't handle....

The sun had moved, just enough, to start flooding though my living room window again. It gave the whole room the same glow that made me fall in love with the apartment in the first place. My fig tree noticed too and started blooming to life again. Translucent lime sprouts, the first new growth I'd seen amongst the stale deep leaves that had held strong all winter, and something different, a little green bulb. My first fig was growing. I was growing a fig. Me, the girl with the blackest thumb you could imagine, was growing fruit. I knew it was too early in...

When I was young, maybe eleven or twelve years old, I got a cactus. I named my cactus Mr. Bean and put it near the window of my bedroom. And it sat there, for a while, until it eventually died because I never remembered to water it. Let's back up here: I killed a cactus because I didn't water it enough. I killed a cactus, the one plant in the world notorious for not needing all that much water to survive, because I didn't water it enough. That's about how green my thumb is. In the years since, I've killed many plants. All of...