I moved my grapefruit tree yesterday. Dug it out by the roots and dragged it across the yard. To create a space, I first needed to chop out the root ball of the elm tree I felled a few months ago. With an axe and a pick. It took three days.
What do you mean, why? Doesn’t everyone do it that way?
When I walked into the kitchen for my victory beer, I felt a tickle on my arm. This little green guy was riding me into the house. I had destroyed his world, and now he was clinging to me like a branch in white water rapids. We bonded over his new circumstances.
I say his, but I have no idea what the gender is here. Female mantises are known to bite the heads off males at the apex of copulation. The death throes of the male provide a more vigorous delivery of sperm. Also, nutrition.
Meanwhile he’s been hanging out in the kitchen, making himself useful chewing through ceiling cobwebs. I say he’s a harbinger of good tidings.
Last week, walking the dogs, I heard cries of distress from under a bush and found a 3-week-old kitten buried in bougainvillea leaves, eyes closed with goop.
I took him home, put him on the couch and Trixie immediately licked him back to life, stimulating poop. Then Trixie gobbled the poo.
The kitty loves the interspecies tongue action and mewls for more. We’re all really comfortable with these new arrangements, this blurring of the natural order.
Not tree-d, but windowed. Just out of view below, two feral cats waited for his grip to loosen. He made it safely back to the tree by jumping past them when their attention flagged. Now he’s greedily eating all my oranges and feeling invincible. Maybe if I didn’t live with a crazy cat lady, the ferals would be a little hungrier and we’d have a few more oranges on our tree.
It had to happen eventually. The carcass of Montgomery Ward on Roscoe Blvd, empty for fifteen years, our weed-sprouted, broken asphalt slice of Detroit-on-the-Pacific, is about to be transformed into Icon at Panorama, a discount version of The Grove. Or something with chain stores, anyway. Sometime in 2019.
Why it should take so long is a mystery. For now, the trees, ghostly sentinels from a lost episode of The Walking Dead, have met the chainsaw.
Trunk-burnt, twisting from the asphalt toward a merciless sun, defying the death to which they had been consigned by the abandoned schemes of commerce. A foreshadow of life after people.