QzfY9Ty6I have a cactus on the floor of beige tiles outside my condo, overlooking a valley of human encroachment into the hillsides. It’s not a pretty plant. It once was, or at least I thought it was when I got it.

I stuck it in a larger pot 4 years ago. I stopped watering it some time ago because I’m trying to figure out what to do with it. It’s miserable to deal with, dense, full of sharp needles. I’d call it a thicket, but I’m not sure if it’s one plant or many at this point.

Every now and then, I spit on it. Not out of concern for it growing brown and dead. It just thrives. So much water, it blooms an ugly little flower that has no scent. This much water, it drops it’s children all over. This much water, it grows. And for 4 years, without grooming, this has grown from a 2 inch wide groomed and potted cactus to a foot in diameter, hanging 2 inches over either side.

I just spit on it, partly because I don’t know what the hell to do with the thing.

I can’t throw it away, because then it would likely overtake the garbage dumps. I mean, it thrives. Hardship? You bet, it’s all in. Got any more? Please? You may not like how it looks, but the damned thing clings to life. I can’t help but be amazed.

It’s a bit like me, too. It grows when it has the opportunity, it fills the space around it as it has that opportunity, and it doesn’t need much to simply exist.

So I spit on it, not out of disgust, but out of respect. I imagine it will outlive me. Maybe it belongs on my grave, though I have always leaned toward cremation. Might take over a cemetery, though. I just don’t have it in me to throw it out. It might take over the world given the right conditions.

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