Saturday 05.14.2011 | 8:23 PM EDT
Weather Report: Died on the Vine
“Dead Flowers” | Townes Van Zandt, Roadsongs | 1993
For seven years, ivy has grown slowly and steadily across my living room windows. Sparse at first, its delicate leaves dotted the screen with splashes of brilliant green, like parsley placed just so atop some fancy dinner dish. Gradually, dots became patterns, vines like tangled tributaries mapping the landscape of my view. Eventually it grew lush, thick as shag carpet, obscuring completely the inside glimpse to my private quarters.
One would think these thick organic blinds would darken and gloom the room, snuff the play of light on the wood floors and navaho walls, but no. Sunny days dappled the apartment with a patchwork of yellow-green light, the ivy an iridescent lattice that defied the city’s dreary brick and mortar. For the few short months of spring and summer, my apartment was transformed into a verdant sanctuary, a lush retreat from the hot concrete of my Brooklyn streets.
I loved my ivy drapes, my leafy blinds. Then they fucking killed them.
One morning last week, I woke to find my brood of brightly budding leaves drooping like disappointed children, wilted comrades struggling to stand against an unseen force. Apparently, my neighbors below didn’t share my affection for this beautifully pernicious plant that weakens brick and obscures the urban view of our glassed-in little boxes. Seems the super had snipped the ivy dead at the root, pruned its proud tendrils away from my neighbors’ window panes so they could use instead their store-bought blinds to keep eyes from prying into their domestic affairs.
No one thought about the country life they brought to our urban existence. No one thought about palette and contrast. No one thought to consult me.
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