Saturday, December 1, 2012


the arboreal crater in question

     Someone stole a small evergreen tree from our sidewalk landscaping last night or early this morning.  Here is a picture of the hole left behind, now full of cold rain, and mud.  An ugly crime.  Even seasoned forensic experts seemed shaken, drinking styrofoam cups of coffee under a temporary crime scene pavilion.

     After multiple interviews, I went inside and watched some TV.  I’d like to get inside the mind of an unambitious tree thief, but I’m afraid of what I’d see.  A glimpse of the sociological underbelly so would make an episode of Prime Suspect look utopian.  That is someone else's job, not mine.   

     This tree is worth relatively little on the pre-owned tree market, maybe a few dollars more as a fraudulent return at a Christmas tree lot.  Hack off the root ball and get your ten dollar "refund".  A brilliant plan worth three or four cans of malt liquor, or packet of cigarettes.  But at what spiritual cost?   
      It's Christmas time. I hope that this thief enjoys his or her stolen tree, appreciates its dense, springy, needled branches, and places it, decorated and well lit, on a tabletop in his or her druggy, dingy low-rent nu-metal hideout.  Pine needles, not speedball needles--that’s my sincerest hope for all punk-ass shrub lifters.  

     May the Christmas spirit heal this burgler’s nasty dead-end ways, though not without at least a minor dark night of the soul.  Exploding ornaments of remorse. Candy canes of bad choices melting in psychedelic hallucination. Twinkle lights of empathy blinking and popping as if in the presence of some ominous spiritual authority

     Then darkness. 

     Time to reflect: OMG, I actually stole a small tree from someone's yardI am not only a lost soul. I am a total dick.

     And then, a new morning, and redemption.  The very idea of petite tree theft becoming foreign, like a bad dream from a past life that no longer makes any sense.

     I’ve already said too much.  Here's St. Augustine:

Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.

     Or this:
I have read in Plato and Cicero sayings that are wise and very beautiful; but I have never read in either of them: Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden.

Who labors more than a landscaping thief?  Whose burdens are heavier?  And if this is just random mischief, then I have told a fancy story, nothing more.

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