So, anyway, I see these guys out front and I want to ask them about the aging (and possibly dying) maple at the base of my property (is it at risk of dying soon? will it keel over? will it drop branches on our neighbour’s car? etc).
I tentatively approach the first guy to walk past my driveway without his hands full of vegetation. I know he could easily tell me to wait my turn, or call the office, or just f*ck off (he’s with the city, remember), but he doesn’t. He follows me to the tree, listens politely to my concerns, expresses his moderate opinion and makes me feel better. But here’s the thing: he spends the entire conversation trying not to stare over my shoulder at the copper beech tree that takes up much of my backyard.
I begin to feel like that woman who’s in the middle of a conversation with a guy when he suddenly sees the most beautiful girl of his dreams. It is love blooming before my eyes. And who can blame him: that tree is one helluva sexy, sultry, and exotic species.
And can I also add how cute he is? Cute in that way that some people are when you can see in their adult faces and demeanours the kids, the babies, they once were.
I couldn’t stand between them anymore. I call him out on his flagrant attraction and then offer to introduce them. He doesn't need to be asked twice. He approaches like one mesmerized. He covets and reveres. He admires and fawns. He very carefully and respectfully touches, pointing out her singularities, her idiosyncrasies, her sensitive spots.
Then he starts to describe what he wants to do to her. He knows what she needs, what she wants. She needs pruning, suckering and cording. But he will be gentle, discreet. He has the skills, he assures me, to treat her right. He will use only the most dexterous moves, only the best paraphernalia.
He hardly looks at me as he tries to convince me, telling her as much as me (maybe more than), just how much she will thrive and flourish under his attentions. It is, without doubt, the most tender and honest seduction I’ve ever been third-wheel to.
He actually says it in so many words: he really really wants to do her. Later when he meets my husband, he tells him the same thing. Oh, and also that he wants to film it. Um, okay, more on that later.
Hey, this is our tree’s best suitor ever. Will we give him her hand?
How can we not? Just don’t ask me to watch.
Deb: Besides the fact that I adored this beautifully written tale of a romantic tryst, I could not help thinking that this was probably the gorgeous Barbara’s first time being a third wheel. I am sure you have never felt the sting of someone looking over your shoulder at another. Take it from me, for I have been the tree and I have been the shrub. I have also been the lovely perennial you buy in the spring, forget to plant and are forced to use as mulch come the fall. Do not cry for me though as I have been the tree many times in my life and with this husband of mine, I am always made to feel like the tallest leafiest tree in the forest. But trust me. dear readers, this tree of Barb’s is something to behold. Robin Hood would worship at her trunk. I have never seen her like.