The neighborhood I am looking at right now is not like any in Arizona. It’s just about 8AM EST, and I am staring out the window at a large tree, possibly Elm, but who knows, really, because I am not an expert in trees. It dwarfs the three-story house it sits next to across from the hospital in Rumford, ME.
I’m here because my father-in-law is having a procedure on his foot. He’s back there, somewhere, being readied or poked or prodded and I’m out here being quiet and respectful, typing away on my computer in a room with large bay windows and uncomfortable chairs. The row of houses I can see as I look out the windows are awash in bright whites, muted grays, and dark roofs. The brick chimneys stick up on the top like vulgar tributes to Farrah Fawcett.
The people sitting across from me have the thousand-yard stare of those going in for procedures of their own. They are not easygoing like me. They are waiting for bad news or glimmers of hope. They are older than I am, too, but since the ladies at reception are loud as fuck, I know all their birthdays now.
One of the homes has a rather interesting tower behind it. The tower is about six stories tall and looks like a microphone as it is narrow toward the center and wider at the top with some grates that could easily be protecting sensitive mics. What is it listening to and do the owners of the house even notice it anymore? It looks like something used to monitor alien spacecraft.
I’m guessing Doug knows what it is.
We drove down the mountain first thing this morning. It was a quiet drive as Doug didn’t have the radio on. For much of the drive there is probably not a lot of available radio, and it was too early for a sermon on how to be forgiven for your sins. The roadwork near the Height of Land, which is a very scenic spot on the drive between Rangeley and Rumford, is still ongoing. It was hard to tell if any advancement had happened since I saw it last October.
The chewed-up road makes you go a little slower, though, and as a passenger it was easy to notice little areas amongst the tree where an animal might be waiting. I did see a wild turkey in one field. It must have been a big one, too, because it was a long ways away but still pretty easy to see. Wild turkeys are everywhere up here, though.
It occurs to me that this giant tree I can see would absolutely fuck up the house it is growing next to if it ever decided to fall over. I could easily hollow out one of the great arms jutting out and make a tube large enough to sleep comfortably inside. It’s that fucking big.
Actually, now that I think about it, it’s really glorious and I like it a lot.
I’m sure somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of my brain there is a count of how many trees I have subconsciously noticed today so far. It’s got to be in the hundreds if not low four digits. I like to think that our brains can do this and a lot more. Out of all those trees, though, the one in front of me is the best.
It’s early yet, though, so it could be supplanted by another tree. A better tree. There might be other things, too, that draw my focus. What will they be? What will we see before it is all said and done?
More trees, please.
I can just about touch the sun, he said.
Dappled branches and tippy tops.
Akin to the ones next door.
Akin to the ones down the street.
Akin to the fancy of axes and skittering feet.
Don’t just throw your shade at me.
Don’t just smile and drop your dead leaves on me.
He said, I can just about touch the sun as he stretched.
He of the tree.
See you tomorrow.
I cut off the top. Damn it.