We used to have a basil plant growing in our yard. The native kind (I think it's called Thai basil) with leaves smaller and narrower than Italian basil, and purple flowers. I used to pluck leaves from that plant, sniff them, scrunch them up in a little ball, and pop them in my mouth. Not a good idea, I realize now, since we have dogs and they have a penchant for marking territory. Anyway...We had our fence painted, and some of the paint landed on the plant and on the soil around it. It died.
I was walking to work along Legazpi street one day and I saw a lone basil plant. The same variety as the plant we had. It looked bedraggled: losing leaves and looking generally unhealthy. Understandable since it was trying to eke out an existence in a place where it was constantly exposed to toxic car exhaust. It also was under a palm tree and assorted other flora, blocking out its source of sunlight. And if there's one thing basil needs, it's lots of sun.Thinking of the plant I lost, I resolved to save this one. I had no idea how to propagate basil from cuttings or if it was even possible, but it seemed like a good idea at the time to take a cutting from the Legazpi plant and transplant it in our yard. That I did. I took a relatively healthy looking branch and snapped it off the plant.I stuck the cutting in the soil where it could get lots of sun and watered and hoped. To make a long story short, the cutting didnt last the weekend. The Legazpi plant didnt survive the cutting either. A few days later, it too succumbed. In my effort to save it, I may have hastened its death. C'est la vie... c'est la mort.
I told this story to a friend of mine and she said, "How very like relationships. Why don't you write something about it?" What, relationships?, I asked. I wouldnt presume I knew anything about relationships, or what makes them work. Relationships depend so much on the other person that you never have control of it. You just do what you can and hope for the best. I'd have better luck writing about basil.