The hibiscus I gave Mike years ago when he was living in the Montrose is putting on quite the show. I mention it in FLOM, in a chapter called “I got the guy who should have been gay.”


Mike loved plants, and many a weekend excursion included a trip to a local garden center. Once I bought a hibiscus with frilly peach-colored blossoms, loaded it into my car, and on my lunch hour drove to Mike’s bachelor pad to leave it as a surprise. I did worry it might be just a bit too pretty, but as it turned out it didn’t matter. By that time, Mike had abandoned all pretense of keeping his apartment clean enough for any weekend visits on my part, and it had been some time since I’d been there. So as I got out of the car, I was surprised to see his second-floor deck ablaze with color.

            Christ, Mike, and you wonder why people think you’re gay.

            I placed the hibiscus in the middle of his potted flower garden, where he would eventually notice it. Then I looked through his kitchen window and saw teetering piles of dirty dishes and other disgusting chaos.

            Well, if anyone has any doubt, all they need to do is look in his front door, I thought as I drove away. No gay man would live in such squalor.


  1. Melanie McQuinn on March 21, 2017 at 2:35 am

    My husband bought one like that also. It died one year in the frost. He loves flowers, especially roses, and cannot seem to buy enough of them. I repotted all of them this year. It was a big job. He’s a wonderful gentleman with an immeasurably-large heart.

    • Anne Leonard on March 22, 2017 at 1:12 pm

      Sadly, I finally lost this one — and all my other hibiscus — in our two-day winter in January. If I’d been here, I would have covered it but alas I was in Arkansas.

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