My mom was partial to gardening, so there were hundreds of flower pots at home. There were a considerable number of cacti. In winter, cacti were placed in my room and every corner of the house. I often got pricked by their invisible spines. What most troubled me were the cacti in my room. My mom said they had no spines but I felt prickled just seeing them. I became paranoid and always checked if the cacti were around me. I moved around the house consciously avoiding them. No matter where I went, I felt surrounded by cactus. The potential touch of a spine was ever present upon my mind. When I felt itchy, I stared fiercely at them with a suspicious eye. Although they were neither humans nor animals, they imposingly occupied my space and forced me to spend a cold winter with them. They thrived in the sunniest place by the window. As a child, I remember looking forward to recapturing my room from the cacti after winter had ended. I still scuffle with them in my room every winter. They make me laugh now. I imagine them as a forest of tall trees.