How To Wear A Phrase (excerpt)

Another sprout, who preferred to be a wind, had unexpectedly come to a halt that same summer.

This sprout arrived on a bicycle, and carried a package with her. A plastic shopping bag. I peeked inside and noticed a tangle of threads covered in small heart-shaped leaves. It was a ceropegia woodii, also known as the chain of hearts or rosary vine. M. had carefully bandaged the delicate branches around the plant. We tried to disentangle them together, unwrapping the plant, hearts swirling on the ground, and figured that the soft branches were about two meters long. The rosary vine had expanded, its tentacles coiling into unknown territory, until the view on the core of the plant itself got obstructed.

M. had long pretended that she had no roots, and no tentacles. She wanted to be the wind.

She enjoyed the idea of others thinking that she might be gone. That she could not get caught. Keeping relationships blurry. She thought she would be the eternal trickster, no one would catch her swing.

But now she had hurt her foot seriously during a hike, she literally got stuck. Stuck on the couch of her parents. She was not able to whirl around much any longer, and realized that whoever wants to be the wind only receives wind back. She could feel the breeze caressing her cheeks - but no one was holding her.

Ambiguity is threatening. People don't like it. They want to know; who are you, where are you, what are you doing? Will you stay here? What is your next move? Can we trust you? Now that M. was no longer capable to move easily, she decided that her being the wind had finished. Maybe it was time to become a rock. Or a plant with roots in one place.

I have not seen her ever since.