This persnickety temptress of the night is one of my most recent acquisitions. Possibly the hardest plant in the lot to care for, Calathea has a tendency of letting her lowest, youngest, most naïve leaves die off without even a hint of remorse or regret. No matter how I try to nurture her, the slaughter continues. Even if these smaller tendrils hold nothing in their little plant hearts but love, and dedicate their whole existence to Calathea's impromptu whimsies and fancies, they scarcely stand a chance against her wrath. It seems a game to her, a cruel and manipulative rouse meant to provoke some drastic action, some dire accomplishment, but I know not what she wants of a wretch like me. As I cut away the rotting corpses she leaves at the base of her sacrificial temple (aka, the pot that the plant sits in), I can’t help but be taken in by her majestic beauty. The pinstriped pattern of her leaves, her crushed velvet texture, her slow, sodden pleads for “more water, more water” are too much for my weak will. She has beguiled my heart and I am nestled deep in rapture, in awe of her power. I offer all I can to her; only in the finest pottery will she sit, only resting in the most nutrient rich potting soil shall she grow, only of the finest filtered city water my kitchen spigot will offer does she drink. And of her perch, one could wish none higher or better lit; with sweeping views of the neighboring Thai restaurant and the corner day spa, with it’s neon sign of a smiling sun, continuously beckoning passers-by to escape the brutal winter air and indulge in the decadence of an electronic bed made of sunlight and cancer. What being of this Earth would renounce such handling? Such tenderness? Such an attentive servant? I beseech her; “Tell me what you desire, and I will search the world of it for you!” But she remains silent and the death drums continue and the leaves fade and wither and die away as they have every night and will continue forever more. And now I sit, alone in the dark, in my penance, my reparation to her. All my possessions I bade her take of me, and still she scowls upon my meager existence. Oh, tainted heart, will you not beat once more? Is twice thrust upon the alter of love, lust and bile too great an extent of one man’s witness? I beg you, heed my warnings and be wary the temptress of the night, the one they call Calathea.