twig-clinging and cranky
On the shelter wall we’ve hung some plaster tiles I found at Goodwill. There are four; each tile has the same thick trunk of an oak tree pressed into it, shaded with brown.
I hung them vertically in a straight-ish line beside the window. They are nearly uniform, mass manufactured and thematically in step with the shelters, social security offices, and HUD cubicles that we’ve recently graced.
Each tree is different only by its leaves.
In the first tile the tree is rich with green-fat leaves.
In the second, the leaves are browned, beginning to fall.
The third, a single withered brown leaf clings tenaciously to a twig.
The fourth, slender green leaves are beginning to re-emerge in patches.
I hung these to remind us of cyclical woo woo seasonal crap, truths both profound and irritatingly trite.
They are also intended to be a barometer, or a map.
Initially, we’d decided that we were the “spring” tree, budding toward bloom.
I recant. I am the brown leaf, the tenacious leaf, the stupid one hanging upside down from a twig with my ass bare in the wind.
I am brittle with bitterness.
I have seen my season come and gone, watched all my leaf-friends wither and fall, seen it all for the brief and pointless bullshit that it was.
I realize now that my purpose was to serve the tree. I was never seperate from the tree, or important to the tree. I was there for the tree to suck fucking dry and discard when the time was ripe.
Fuck this tree, I say, with all the faded brilliance of my decay. Fuck this tree, and I clamp it like a vise, like a fucking tourniquet, refuse to fall.
Temporarily amused– perhaps moved, even– the wind holds its breath.
Or maybe it’s just breathing in real slow and deep for an extra-fierce gust of cold air.
Fuck this tree.