I had liked to pretend a forest existed on the other side of the apartment balcony’s wall. When sitting in the camp chair, looking at the sky at just the right angle it was believable that there was only a forest because all I could see was blue sky and dark green pines. But the landlords decided to cut down the trees that were too close to the complex. Now my forest is gone.
Below the balcony wall, there’s a parking lot, two dumpsters, dead grass. Mattresses, desks, recliners, lamps, and other furniture left behind during the move blocked access to the dumpster. Still, people rummaged through the garbage, seeking pop cans and bottles.
At night, after the massacre of the pine trees, I hear the marital arguments from the tenants all around, the slamming of car doors, the rev of engines. In the morning, the crows caw, fight over the litter, and they’re probably the ones who scared away the little birds.
I had went for a walk around the complex as brutes cut down the trees with the loudest of chainsaws. The complex smelled like a Home Depot lumber yard. Dismembered pine trees lay scattered around, and tenants from the low-rise apartments grabbed arm fulls of wood for their fire place; winter was coming after all. Sawdust was raked into a pile much like autumn leaves.
It’s not like those pine trees planted themselves as close to the building as possible. The landlords did.
I’m not a tree hugger, or a green earth freak, or an advocate for organic foods. I’m not even a vegan. Personally, I think those kinds people are insane, but I did think of ways I could have prevented my forest from being chopped down to make room for more parking lot.
Each tree that was murdered had an orange ring painted around its base. Sneaking around at night with brown paint was one solution that crossed my mind. I could have found myself tree spikes, hammed them into the pines, and watched from my balcony as the brutes’s equipment was ruined. The most drastic plan of action I had — of course when I was half asleep — was to tie myself to a tree with an orange stripe, and yell, “You’ll have to severe me in half along with this tree, bitches!”
I’m sure I would’ve been beaten by batons, and I would’ve choked on tear gas, and finally have my hands cuffed behind my back. Then called crazy by every one I know.
So I sit in the camp chair, and look out into an empty sky. I guess the magpies will have to hang out at the electrical poles.