TREE KILLER - by Sophia Smith
I want to tell you about my friend's Christmas tree.
Like how it began as a mere decoration in his apartment. But he became a little more enraptured with the glorious flora everyday. The invigorating pine scent would fill his nostrils every time he entered the room. It made him happy, and reminded him of his uncle taking him bow & arrow hunting in Muskoka when he was a kid.
It also made him think about nature, the environment, and feeling closer to the planet and its creator. "A thing of beauty is a joy forever". This quote passed through his brain every time he walked by his tree.
He watered the tree daily (usually at night since he was always running late in the morning), and added a sugar cube to the water in the tree stand, as the guy at Chelsea Market recommended this to lengthen its "shelf life" and hinder the needles from falling off too fast.
He also felt guilty at times, for being responsible for chopping down a living thing. In a way, he was raping & pillaging the planet. Maybe he should have donated the eighty bucks to a soup kitchen instead of wasting it on a tree. Frivolous. Useless. In the end, pointless.
It will just be kicked to the curb like an unwanted lamp when someone moves out of their first apartment. Rotting in the street, abandoned, just to be peed on by a bum or a passing dog. Its fate will only get worse after that. The tree he loved, gazed on so often, admired, enjoyed the aroma of, and made him so fleetingly happy will be taken to a stinky, horrible garbage dump in New Jersey.
He grew to believe he actually robbed the innocent tree of its future. A perfect life in the woods. Just getting bigger and better every year. Watching the lovely cardinal chicks hatch and grow and then fly every spring. Never again.
He felt like a criminal whenever he entered the room after the first few glorious guilt free days. He was sure he knew just how Terence Stamp felt in The Collector. His tree was like a kidnapped girl, being held hostage in the living room for his own personal twisted pleasure. Like Stamp, he really didn't want to hurt the tree. He just wanted to look at it because it was so pretty.
He also reminded himself of a black market art buyer. No one can know their secret...they can't show off their acquisition to their friends. They can't even keep it out in the open. Only hidden away to be enjoyed all alone. Almost orgasmic in its sinfulness. Such a delight to the senses. The guiltiest of pleasures and getting caught will surely result in jail time. But seeing Munch's work on their very own bedroom wall is worth the risk. He violated the tree in the same way the world is violated by an art theft, stealing a thing of beauty meant to be enjoyed by all, for his own gluttonous pleasure.
He started having nightmares about the tree. In the dream, the tree had eyes, and just cried and cried and cried. Also a recurring dream where his girlfriend gave him a beautifully wrapped present, and when he opened it, it was a baseball hat with the letters "TK" embroidered at the top.