Despite his love of birds and the great outdoors, Brett’s job was to install plastic plants inside office spaces. His Boss touted plastic plants as the perfect solution for beatifying an office “once and done”, save for a yearly shower. Orchids, a lush dieffenbachia enlivening a dark corner, a bouquet of long stem red roses near reception, anything was possible thanks to plastic. The shower was necessary because plastic plants are sponges for dust, undermining the illusion of fresh beauty. Dr. Hilliard purchased the bi-annual plan where fresh “plants” would rotate through his various offices every September and February. The problem for Brett arose one fine February morning, when the head nurse at the Oak Street branch was too beautiful, too cool and self-possessed to be ignored. Smitten, Brett popped by unannounced three weeks later to check up on the plants, a lame excuse that made her chuckle. There was no wedding ring on her finger, and Brett, a confirmed bachelor, didn’t believe he had “I do” in him. But he couldn’t wait until next September to find out if she was indeed the same girl who haunted his dreams, and so Brett made a fool of himself, showing up to change the roses, wash down the orchids and replace the perfectly fine rubber plant for a new one. Dr. Hilliard’s plastic roses never had a chance to acquire that pesky layer of dust until Brett finally worked up the nerve to ask her out. Now, the roses in reception are once again dusty and Dr. Hilllard’s head nurse has taken to humming the soundtrack to “Rent” with verve.
December 23, 2013
by Lee Eiferman