Good morning, Verde

You're my sunshine.

The reason I put my socks on in the morning.

Her top is still mostly red, and there's about a shoulder's worth left of her green stalk...but to me, it looks like she's leaning over to vomit her face onto the cactus soil, which could easily be skulls piled around a forgotten graveyard or perhaps some monster's lair.

Verde is a ruby ball cactus. She isn’t doing so hot. She’s dying.

Verde is a ruby ball cactus. She isn’t doing so hot. She’s dying.

I suppose I should have named her Ruby, but I was feeling particularly creative when I brought Verde home two weeks ago. One of our guests arrived late that Friday afternoon. He had no girlfriend. No wife. No friends. Just an entourage of succulents. All shapes and sizes. Ugly things really. Prickly, insect-like plants with thick, fleshy parts to store water in arid climates. And each one had its own colorful pot. Fifteen to be exact.

I escorted our guest and his fifteen, potted succulents to their suite. I watched as he placed some on the balcony, others in the windowsills, and a few in the brighter corners of each room. He spoke to them. Told them they were beautiful. Misted each and every one with a spray bottle labeled "Bill" on a yellowing strip of masking tape. All of this might sound touching, but I felt nothing. Wait...I was annoyed. I distinctly remember being annoyed. Bill was concerned about the sunlight in his suite. He needed to be on the east side of the building to get even, morning light for his plants. I assured him that if the sunlight wasn't to his or his succulents' liking, I would personally move everyone to a more suitable location in the morning. Of course that meant the furnace but why ruin the guy's afternoon.

Bill was eaten around 11? Who knows when they started or how long they kept him alive. I wasn't present for the feeding, so I don't know who or how many. HR handles that. I just supervised cleanup at 12:03 a.m. The plants had to be destroyed, naturally. It is evidence after all. But I hid Verde under my suit coat and whisked her home to what I believed would be a better life.

So two weeks later, here we are. Per, "Ruby ball cactus is normally fairly low maintenance and is normally quite easy to grow, as long as a level of basic care is provided throughout the year." Time is an odd thing when you've lived over four centuries. Two weeks is a blink...blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. I can't pull the "I'm so ancient time confused me" excuse. I left her in the sun, and it burnt her face. Then I drowned her, and she got root rot.

Verde is actually just the red top. Her scientific name is Gymnocalycium mihanovichii var. hibotan. She's a mutant that can't produce chlorophyll, so someone grafted her onto the green cactus to receive the nutrients she needs. You could say she feeds off the other plant. See where I'm going here? Each requires different amounts of light, so if you don't hit the sweet spot, buh bye.

Verde is a succulent. Anyway...