The Tree Has Cancer


The tree has cancer. God gave the tree cancer. Perhaps he was bored, or drunk, or both. God did the gardening one day, then went for a walk. Along the way, he got distracted by this, that and the other, and his mind drifted. It’s been drifting ever since, and now we’re all just traces of some memory that, for the life of him, he can’t seem to place. It’s a big universe, after all. It keeps getting bigger, and so even if he wanted to, chances are by the time he figured out where he left us, he’d never be able to find his way back. I think of this when I see an old garden shed. The shed is overgrown. The wood is rotten. There used to be a door, although strangely enough, the absence of the door, is a door in itself. There is no real sense of absence, for whenever something is removed, a trace of itself remains. The trace occupies the same space, but its energy is diminished. The energy in question is now somewhere else—somewhere we will never be able to tread. Not in this lifetime, anyhow. I seek out the remains of these doors the same as I caress the cancerous tree. My hands wrap around its trunk as I peek through the keyhole at the days in my life that mean the most to me. I’m able to collect pieces here and there, and yet no matter how many of the pieces I gather, I can never seem to rearrange them into what they used to be. This confusion will be my epitaph. It’s my life’s work. Pushing me beyond the visible realm. It brings disillusion and shame. It loosens the bearings that contain my mind. My brain is a loose tooth. These days. These gums. They recede so quickly.

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US

6 replies »

  1. I love the symmetry of the tree and the door both ultimately inspire contact and both will decay from neglect. Adding cancer, receding gums into the picture adds to hopelessness one feels when unable to make a connection whether thru a door or into the imagined world inside the tree and beyond. I thought of Odin hanging upside down from the tree in Norse mythology trying to look at things from a different perspective as I read.

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