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Entry date: 10-24-2022 - The Trees part 20 - Things I made up

Dear Friends,

I start my new job today at my new school. Yay! I will fill you all in on the travels and the wedding and such tomorrow.

Here is the 20th installment of The Trees.


The four men moved into the house for this part of the discussion. Rob explained how he had reached out to ETD after Vivian’s death and talked to Peter Bowen about how they could help. After a long conversation, they decided to make some lilies because they were Vivian’s favorite and now Rob and his family could have her around, in a way, wherever they wanted.

“Dan, do you want to meet them?” Rob asked.

“I think I do,” he replied.

John looked at his partner and could see the wheels spinning inside his head. There would be a flurry of questions and then, if he knew Dan (and he did), it would be a very quiet plane ride home. Dan would be lost in thought about this for a while.

“What does it cost?” Dan asked.

“It’s pricey, but you don’t have to worry about that. I want to do this for you,” Rob said.

“He’s already got them making me into drumsticks,” Budda piped in.

Dan laughed and said, “Thanks, Rob, but I’m okay making myself into seeds. I just don’t know what kind.”

“When can you go to Maine? I assume you’re coming, too,” Rob said, looking first at Dan, then John.

“I love Maine. Hettie and I went there one summer while we were in college and hiked in Acacia National Park. I’d love to see what they are doing up there,” John replied.

Dan looked a little frazzled. He liked the idea of leaving something behind for Jan and the kids. Hell, he liked the idea of their being a piece of him at Evolve, too, and he wanted John and Hettie and Rob and Cherise to have a piece of him, too. It almost felt, for a few seconds, like he wasn’t dying anymore.

“We better go soon, or it is going be very, very cold up there,” Rob said before adding, “We can take my plane. Just let me know and I’ll make all the arrangements. Budda can come, too, and drive us.”

“You’re buying me a new snowsuit if I’m driving your asses around fuckin’ Maine,” Budda said.

They all laughed at this, but Dan wasn’t laughing as hard as the rest of them.

“How did you get them Vivian’s DNA?” Dan asked.

“It sounds a little morbid, but we had some of her blood. Vivian was O negative, so her doctor talked us into keeping some of her blood in storage when she was young,” Rob said.

“I remember you telling me that a while ago,” John added.

“We were lucky. I’m interested to see what they can tell you about your cancer, Dan. They might be able to see things your doctors can’t see. ETD is really doing amazing things,” Rob said.

“Let’s just keep this between us for now, okay? If these people are doing what you say they are doing, this could be an amazing surprise for Jan and the kids when I’m gone,” Dan said.

Now it was John’s turn to look less than enthused.

“Are you sure you don’t want Jan involved in this? Seems like something she would want to know, buddy,” John said.

“I need to give it some thought. Rob, can you find out from them what I need to do or, maybe, just put me in touch with them?” Dan asked.

“Don’t worry, my man. I’ll take care of everything. I’ll call them tomorrow morning and get the ball rolling. I don’t have anything I can’t get out of for the next few weeks, so as soon as you guys can go, we’ll go,” Rob said.

“We should probably think about heading back down to LAX soon,” Dan said.

“No worries, I got you guys flying back from SBA at 8:15pm. You can use those other tickets to come back another time. We got a couple hours to have a couple more beers and watch the sunset. You guys game to hang out a bit longer?” Rob asked.

They nodded yes and headed back out to the patio overlooking the sea. Just as John thought, Dan was a little quieter than normal for the rest of the day. While Budda went down to the beach, Rob, Dan, and John talked about a few business deals and Rob filled them in on what was going on in crypto currency world.

In 2013, Rob had talked Dan and John into buying $5,000 worth of Bitcoin each. He had even promised to give them their money back if it was as worthless as Dan had thought it was going to be. As usual, though, with Rob’s advice, they had made a nice little profit, but Dan talked often about cashing out before people realized it was all, as he put it, “fake.”

The $5,000 investment in 2013 was worth almost $200,000 dollars in 2016, which had seemed like a good time to run all the way to the bank, but John convinced Dan to ride it out a little longer and Rob’s optimism for what was coming sealed the deal.

“Don’t sell yet, gents. We’re probably going on a nice big ride very soon,” Rob said, and he had bought 50,000 in Bitcoin when it was going for about ten cents.

“Why does everything you touch turn to gold,” John had asked him once. All Rob could was shrug his shoulders. John had added, “The thing that keeps me from thinking you have a deal with the devil is the record label. If that thing ever makes a profit, I’ll be praying for you.”

The three of them wrapped up their business and Budda drove them over to SBA where they hopped an American Airlines flight back to Phoenix. Dan was a little fatigued from the beer, weed, scotch, but his head was swimming with possibility. What would they learn in Maine? What would he be? All he could think of was the trees behind his house. Could he be one of them someday? Would he know?


One might say Rob has the Midas touch.

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