Outside our living room window there is a tree. I don’t remember what it looked like last year. This year it had a growth spurt and it has been allowed to grow unchecked, sprouting big, hand-sized green leaves from thick branches. For the past months it has been bumping up against our window, actually leaning into our house, blocking the light, scratching against the glass when the wind blows, casting shadows, making me look twice every time I walk by because I think there is someone stuck to our window, like Spiderman, staring at me while I slouch on the couch.
In September I tried to prune it with a pair of old kitchen scissors but the window only opens a few inches so I could not reach. Also, the branches of this tree are quite healthy and the scissors are dull like chopsticks.
I decided I would write a letter to the strata council because that, I think, is what you do when you pay monthly fees to a strata council and those fees pay for, among other things, landscapers that come every Thursday to trim hedges and blow and rake leaves. I think it is the job of the landscapers to prune this tree but I don’t think I ought to be popping my head out on a Thursday to say, hey, I have this tree here. Somebody, look after this tree. I’m pretty sure I need to go through the strata council.
There is a path that runs between our housing development and the road and if you walk along this path and look up at the houses, you can see that all our neighbours have trees in front of their living room windows but no one else has a tree as big as ours. All the other trees are short, demure, bush-like. Ours is tall, extravagant, overzealous. It is clear, from the path, that we have a huge, overgrown tree blocking our living room window.
So you would think someone would notice besides me. But no one does.
Should I feel lucky? Bird-poop-on-the-head, lucky? Should I imagine that the tree knows that here is a house full of vitality and joy and the tree wants to come in and be near us? It is hard to imagine this, especially today.
I need to write that letter to the strata council, but first I need to mention that now the leaves have turned a nasty, dead brown and half of them have dropped off. This might sound like an improvement but it is not. It is more like if the tall cute boy in front of you at the movie theatre suddenly remembered a previous engagement and was replaced by a tall ugly boy with boils on his bald head.
I hate this tree. I have never hated a tree before. I am having fantasies about chainsaws. I have to write that letter.
I need more light.