• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 12
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Plants in my head

I was suddenly away from the din of work. Without work, rather. I would sit at my table refreshing. Refreshing Twitter, refreshing the inbox, refreshing the phone. And in those minutes of faint disappointments, they started growing. At first they were buds. Tiny shoots that I brushed off like powdered sugar stuck on lip tops. My days were different now. A new box of masks from Etsy had arrived—too big to use, too nice to throw. I was squirreling away sanitiser bottles in pretty pink, pretty blue and an elegant colourless. I cringe-watched Netflix, then binge-watched romantic period dramas. I cried. I washed dishes.

No notifications.

They grew. Out of my head, spiking my legs, stubble-ing my upper lip. Now they were big enough for me to notice them. They sent thoughts my way. Thoughts that didn’t let me sleep. Thoughts that gave me nightmares. They sneaked memories into my food that made me burp all day.

I refreshed. I wallowed in leftovers. I daubed sanitizer on book mail. The plants, were now growing everywhere—my head, eyebrows, knuckles. They peeped under the arms and caressed the fat between my thighs. They were always whispering. The hair-plants softly in my ears. The dotted upper lip clamorous on the bathroom mirror.

They kept me awake at night. They made me think. I sat, lay down, exercised. Thinking, thinking, thinking.


Plants in my head

More Etsy boxes and book mail plopped on the doormat. Meanwhile, my plants grew bigger, leafier, feeding on the blue light from my laptop and the glare of my phone. I watered them. I found them good company. I sprayed them with water, polished them to a shine. I put away my razor, my scissors, my comb. I pressed over eyebrows with my index fingers to tame them. I plucked weeds, I listened, I let them invade my days. On Fridays, when I felt particularly indulgent, I would wear shorts, and set them loose. I would dance on the balcony. The plants, like drunks, shilly-shallying on my head, whistling on my hands, swishing on my legs. Wild, unperturbed.

The men in my housing block weren’t pleased. The women gave me looks I couldn’t decipher.

Preen, meditate, they screamed.
Preen, meditate, do yoga, they shouted.
My forest fed on me and grew taller, wider, lurid.
Preen, meditate, they screamed.
Preen, meditate, bake bread, they shouted.

I danced thinking, wondering, as it grew leafier, bushier and swallowed me whole.