It started with just the one doll, tied up in plastic, staring blankly but adorably out at me from her cellophane and cardboard box on my birthday. I brought her home, freed her from the box, posed her against the little baby aloe I have growing in a discarded boot of my niece's. There she would stay. Or so I thought.
A week later, I brought her a companion doll, a doll of the same model but different make, which my grandma and son surprised me with at work. I brought the second home like the first, clipped away the the plastic ties holding her tight, but before I got the chance to cleverly pose her, she posed herself. That next morning after bringing the second Venus home, I discovered both dolls had moved. They've been moving about the kitchen's bay windows, visiting from house plant to house plant. First, they sat together in my mother-in-law tongue pot. A week later I found one with her face pressed against a wine glass, watching an avocado pit take root; the other stood among the tomatoes ripening on the windowsill, looking down at the garden and holding a packet of seeds, reminding me it's time to start the autumn garden. And then, about a week and a half later, the pair were hanging around in the vines of my Pothos plant, the one grown from a clipping Gia gave me right before she closed her shop. I noticed, too, the dolls had both doffed their shoes. I get the feeling the only way to keep them happy is to add more plants to my indoor garden.