I can’t sleep.
Not that that’s unusual. Here lately, the unusual is my new normal, and sleep has been a faraway dream, with the exception of one night, for most of the last week. Except lately, when I can’t sleep, I don’t lay in bed and cry because I’m tired and miserable and would do anything to sleep. Now, when I lay awake in bed, it’s because my brain is flooded with ideas and revelations- about myself, about the people I love and loved, about the garden I’m starting and how I never thought I’d be one of those people who love gardening, about how to fix that one problem I had that one time with some ingenuity and creative use of storage bins and a drill….Now that all the muddiness has cleared from my head, I’m filled with motivation to do all the things I always wanted to do but never had the energy for. And they won’t let me sleep, because I have so much time to make up, time that was lost to my illness. I got home this evening and decided that since I determined the other day that the cabinet that used to store shoes would be better as a pantry, there’s no time like the present, and spent 2 hours throwing away forgotten shoes, removing cabinet doors, and transferring canned goods from the [completely unreasonably high] cabinet where they used to be to my wonderful new [half-finished] pantry. Half-finished because I realized it was 2:30 AM and tomorrow is NOT Sunday and that means I have to get up early and get Wilbur on the bus and holy hell I need to try to get some sleep.
But I digress.
During my project, I found my mind going places it did not want to go. Thinking of things I’ve learned that have hurt me, and not even because of what they were but more who they came from. I was dwelling on this so much so that my heart started to hurt. I wondered about when these things happened, and what the timing of them meant about the time I spent not knowing. Not that any of this will make sense to anyone else, but, ya know.
But then I started thinking, “Ohtobed” (because I totally refer to my inner self by that name), “NO. Do not do that. Do not let this person continue to make you unhappy, even after they’ve left you far behind. Do not give them that power.”
And so, instead, I decided to tell you about the rest of my evening, because why the hell not.
I’ve expressed already how much I’m enjoying gardening. And I am. I really, really am. Like, to the point I’m a little crazy with it. Ever since my birthday, I’ve become obsessed with having a flowering tree. I bought a cute little fake one from iKEA, but unfortunately, it doesn’t smell like flowers or give me a flurry of petals in the wind that I can spin around in with my arms spread wide like part of a Lifetime movie, and therefore, I STILL NEED a flowering tree. I recently learned that if you cut a branch from a tree, or really any plant cutting, and dip it in rooting hormone, you can plant it and grow your own. Pretty nifty. So when I drove down the road the other day and saw beautiful trees in purple and white right along the sidewalk, I thought to myself, Okay, self (because I think that too), all you have to do is go for a walk, pluck off a branch from each tree, and Voila! Instant purple and white trees. I also noticed that the white tree, beside the church parking lot, was surrounded by gorgeous white flowers blanketing the ground, and thought it can’t be that difficult to pull one out by the root.
Fast forward to this evening.
I had to run to a friend’s house because I needed a favor, and while I was there, informed her that I would be stealing a branch off her beautiful pink tree. She, of course, didn’t care, and really, why would anyone? I mean, it’s ONE FUCKING BRANCH, PEOPLE. I pull out of her driveway around 12:30AM, pink flowery branch in the passenger seat, and as I’m driving, an idea hits me. It’s the middle of the night. I can go up, park in the church parking lot, walk up to the purple tree and yank a branch, and pull a flower and a white branch on the way back to my car. Sounds simple enough, right?
I decided on the way into the parking lot that because the road is well-lit, I would pull a flower on the way TO the purple tree instead of on the way back…. it would just look like I plucked a flower from the side of the road. So I get to said flowers, squat down to pull one out… and it WON’T. COME. OUT. I tried digging with my fingers, but the surrounding ground seemed to be more rock than dirt, and I can’t get a single bit of it to budge. I even pull the pliers I keep in my purse for my vape pen out and try to use them to pry it off, but with no luck. It’s at this point that I hear an engine coming up the road behind me. It’s gonna look a little weird, me squatting on the side of the sidewalk in front of the church stabbing their flowerbed with a pair of needlenoses, so I panic thinking it’s the cops and I’m about to get my ass arrested, in my pajamas, braless, for stealing Jesus’s flowers, so I lose the pliers and just pluck a couple of flowers, figuring I could use the rooting hormone on them as well. The truck comes up behind me and passes me, trying to appear nonchalant with the flowers they just saw me pluck, so I skip toward the tree, sniffing the flowers like a cartoon character, and once they are out of sight, I walk out to the branches hanging over the street (PUBLIC PROPERTY, BITCHES), yank one off, and turn to make my way back to my final prey, The White Tree.
I find the perfect branch and bend it. A little crack! but it doesn’t come off. So, thinking about the wire cutter on my pliers, I reach for them, only to discover that when I ditched the pliers, I tossed them down in the flower bed. I proceed to crawl around on my hands and knees searching for the damned things and finally find them a good 2 feet from where I used them. I reach back up and attempt to cut the branch. No dice.
At this point, the branch is more trouble than it’s worth, but it’s personal now, so I start twisting and spinning the branch, which repeatedly gets stuck on other branches of The White Tree until half the petals on my branch have been knocked loose and the other half are hanging by a thread. I decide to twist and pull at the same time, so I grab the branch with the pliers and proceed to twist while using my weight to pull. At first, it looks like that’s not going to work either, until I hear another vehicle coming, right about the same time I hear a snap! and fall backwards onto my ass on the sidewalk, arm outstretched, holding a [by this point sad-looking] branch in the pliers straight up in the air, my belongings scattered in a semi-circle around the scene. I gather up my things and haul ass back to my car with petals in my hair, and take a celebratory selfie with the flowers all in the background, mainly because I need to commemorate the moment I kicked The White Tree’s ASS.
Don’t underestimate the effect that a victory against a tiny, white, flowery tree can have on your self-esteem, people.