Once a vegetable slipped into a persistent human state. Whoa, the vegetable thought. This ain’t half bad. I’ve known cauliflower with more life, but this is okay. Its initial surprise over, the vegetable realized it should try to remember everything about this persistent human condition just in case it ever returned to some semblance of vegetative normalcy. Who knew how long such altered states might last? If the vegetable did in fact come back from being human one day, what were likely to be the first questions it would be asked about the experience? What should it be at special pains to observe now so it could report its impressions calmly and accurately in the interests of contributing to the treatment given like cases in the future? Well, first there were these tuber-like bellies and limbs, though they seemed far more than just a means to plant yourself somewhere or cling to whatever was familiar ground. Admittedly, most humans that the vegetable had so far observed struck it as content to do precisely that, seldom moving from a position they may have assumed long ago and now held to out of comforting habit. But others appeared to give themselves willingly to the wind, asking it to carry them wherever it would, like tumbleweeds eager simply to be gone. What became of them once they’d disappeared from view the vegetable couldn’t say. And it wasn’t particularly eager to roll along with them and find out. Still, it couldn’t completely forget these devotees of the rootless life. Despite its own affinity for the neat rows of experience it had been accustomed to seeing laid out in regimented accord on every side, the vegetable sensed that the persistent human state held more than just this determination to impose a rigid order upon everything. The occasional wild seed blown in among well-tended thoughts and emotions to grow as it could (often withering but sometimes breaking into riotous bloom) also claimed a place in human life it seemed. This defiance of row-by-row uniformity was not for this vegetable in a persistent human state, of course, but such waywardness did hold a certain fascination all the same. Against the unending conformity that defined the life of a vegetable, where long attention to what would or would not be accepted had eliminated all but the slightest aberration, that aberration stood out in alluring contrast. Or at least so it did to this vegetable. And as for its own return to a normal state, there was no rush. Its present condition posed few problems, being rather restful, in fact. Yes, all considered, this persistent human state wasn’t half bad.
Copyright © 2020 by Geoffrey Grosshans