by The Tree in Caje
I am pretty chill. I am that tree you’ve never noticed in the corner of Caje, indoors near the red booths on the left side of the coffee shop. Each day for me is, without a doubt, suffocating, but I make the best of it. For a tree, I am pretty zen.
Just a couple of days ago, I overheard the Caje employees, my least favorite of the people I have to listen to, talking about global warming.
“I learned today in Environmental Studies and Horticultural Solutions class that all we have to do to end global warming is plant more trees!” one of them said.
Her co-worker’s face did not budge, and he said what he usually says when someone makes such an asinine remark. “Damn, that’s chill.”
I spoke up. “Put me outside! Please! Please plant me outside! I hate you! I hate you all!” But they didn’t hear me because I’m a tree. I suppose you all think we trees just stand around and sway when the wind hits us. But we also do a lot of listening. And listening is not fun when you have to listen to morons. For example, most trees like Radiohead, because everybody likes Radiohead, but at Caje they play Radiohead like Pitchfork called them the greatest band of all time, or something. I wouldn’t mind a bit of Tchaikovsky, or Dolly Parton, or The Dirty Projectors, or Brotha Lynch Hung, or, hell, even The Decembrists would be a nice change. But nobody asks me what I want to listen to, despite the fact that I spend more time inside of Caje than anybody else.
And hey, if you people really cared about the environment, you who call yourselves tree huggers, you’d give me a little more attention every now and then. The owner of Caje bought me on sale, on clearance, from a tree shop in Santa Barbara that went bankrupt because nobody liked the species he had for sale. The owner was told that I was “drought tolerant,” meaning I didn’t need to be watered. Yes, technically, I don’t need to be watered. But technically you only need one pair of underwear.
Being me, the Caje tree, is definitely not easy.
I don’t have enough leaves to count on my branches to tell you the number of conversations I have overheard against my will about how somebody doesn’t remember what they did last night, and the other person listens and laughs as if that’s funny, and then their conversation continues impossibly about how much they don’t remember about last night. Some of you sickening, pathetic, upright walking, hairless primates are very mistaken in considering yourselves civilized. There is a thirsty tree right next to you, and all you care about is how much you can’t remember.
If only your parents knew. And if only I knew my parents. If I could cry, I certainly would. But I suppose that would require getting watered every now and then.