April 20, 2019
Garfield Park Conservatory
For four years I watered and cared for a gifted perennial to no avail. I became used to the plant as an unblooming specimen, acclimated to its bright green leaves and stems as the only color expected from the healthy and stubborn plant.
It lived with me and my two roommates, and when I decided to move out and into an apartment on my own in March of 2019, I left the bloomless flower behind, my attachment apparently not warranted without the promised blossom. Within two weeks of my departure from the apartment, twin blooms slowly began to develop, light pink buds darkening into blood red as their stamen pushed out like tongues from slowly parting lips.
I don’t remember what I painted with Leslie last March, but I do remember the curiosity of bustling onlookers within the humid Fern Room, her deft classification of the my stubborn and sudden bloom (amaryllis), and that we sat side-by-side on a bench dedicated to Ann Marie Pianka with the inscription “May Her Love Bloom Eternal.”