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Bitch Tree

February 22, 2012

February is giving me a mid-life crisis this week. And don’t start with me about whether this is mid-life or whether it’s February’s fault. I’m feeling discouraged, like all my efforts to do something better at work over the last year have come to way less than I thought they could, and my attempt to raise my children to be self-sufficient has worked all too well. And everyone I know is busy. And yes of course, I have a lot to do too. And I just want to howl! Howl, I tell you! Because who wants to do all this stuff? It’s February. It’s gray and sleety and it seems like nothing will never change.

I am sitting in this tree, as described by Tina Chang:

Bitch Tree

I was sitting on the bitch tree, smirky and small.
Just me to myself with my hats on, a tulle dress
eating pomegranates, throwing seeds, as the sun rose
and fell into my body’s mouth. There were no boo hoos
but murmurs and people far below grew distant.
Money fell out of the tree, honey formed the sap,
Spectators took photos as if a magic was to start.

And none could capture my face when film met silver,
only a halo around the bitch tree but not
the expression of the maker. Yes, I balked
and said, I never had a father, threw weather
in the hard rain, my face a faucet hurling down
and still I sat on the branch, murdering berries
with my fruit mouth, then became silent when it was night.

No one was there to examine the bitch who shifted
and grimaced only when there was an audience.
An urge for urgency, my soul hangs like a puppet,
knocks between my lungs, bends to the song of the sister
peach tree: Love me when all the ripe clusters drop.
I remembered my job and shook the leaves and howled
like a monkey, wanting the next weather, next
instant, that high lightning barking from the boughs.

I have “an urge for urgency” but nowhere to go and no resources to get there. I think I am just going to stay in this tree until February goes away.  And I don’t need you to tell me it’s small of me, or that it’s juvenile to be this smirky.  Get your own tree.

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19 Comments leave one →
  1. February 22, 2012 8:02 am

    Hang in there, only a week to go. There are birds singing outside my window right now. I can’t remember ever hearing them before late March before. I am feeling hopeful about the end of the grey.

    • February 22, 2012 9:28 am

      All quite true and logical. I get enough of that in my currently-testosterone-laden household. You just came back from better climes! Shut up with your hope! Because a week of February is an unchewably big bite of eternity.

  2. freshhell permalink
    February 22, 2012 8:42 am

    I hear ya. Like Harriet says: one more week. I was thinking that this morning as I got in the shower, “I have to remind Jeanne: one more week”. March can be a bitch, too, but at least its not February. March brings hope and a warmer breeze.

    • February 22, 2012 9:29 am

      You shut up about the hope, too. You know better. I’m going to murder some berries and throw the seeds at you over there in the next tree. Because want I want is company when I bitch, not logic.

      • freshhell permalink
        February 22, 2012 10:51 am

        That’s fine. But because I’m rubber and you’re glue, they’ll bounce off me and stick you. Pllffffttt!

  3. February 22, 2012 12:23 pm

    I hear you … I have weeks like that where I’m sitting in my bitch tree just daring anyone to come close.

    • February 22, 2012 1:47 pm

      Is this one? ‘Cause I can throw seeds as far as five trees away, I think!

  4. February 22, 2012 7:51 pm

    I hate February too. Well, February and March. I think they’re tied for the worst month of the year.

    • February 22, 2012 7:56 pm

      Yeah. People keep saying “it’s been a mild winter” and “it’s a warm day for February” and I want to scream that just because it’s less miserable than usual doesn’t mean that it’s not still miserable!

  5. Gwendolyn Bailey permalink
    February 22, 2012 8:05 pm

    I will bring you a pie to eat in your tree. It will be sweet and tart and will not change the color of your pomegranate stained dress. It will alter your perspective of the demise of February and prepare you for the March meltdown.

    • February 22, 2012 10:24 pm

      Mmm, pie. And delivered to my tree you say? That could actually alter my perspective.

      • February 23, 2012 10:28 am

        Where is your tree? I, too, would like some pie, and I don’t even care if the stains don’t match what I’m wearing. And you can bitchbitchbitch to your heart’s content. In response, I will sing songs from every musical I know, which is not as many as you, but I’ll just start repeating numbers if I run out of new ones.

        • February 23, 2012 11:20 am

          Can we start with the “then it’s your fault” song from Into the Woods? And then you can follow the sound of my voice.

          • February 23, 2012 11:36 am

            My head is tilted like a dog’s, listening for something I can’t quite identify (since I know neither the song nor the sound of your voice). But I think I would recognize the sound of your eyebrows doing their thing, so if you throw that into the mix, I should be able to find you. Eventually.

  6. February 22, 2012 8:57 pm

    oh! Gwendolyn will bring you a pie to eat in your tree! How wonderful!

    I will continue to send crazy postcards. Maybe they will help in some way to ease your miserableness.

    The universe keeps showing me pomegranates. What could that mean?

    • February 22, 2012 10:25 pm

      The crazy postcard did help. I loved it, although didn’t see the mailman in person that day.
      The universe showing you pomegranates means Demeter told that girl not to eat those seeds but you know how teenagers are, always knowing better…

  7. February 23, 2012 12:32 pm

    Bitch tree, I love it. I think we all just need a bitch tree to camp out in sometimes! If I lived closer I would bring you a G&T and we could enjoy bitchiness together in this dreay midwestern winter.

    • February 23, 2012 12:36 pm

      I do like G&T at this time of year, both for the unspoken tribute to Douglas Adams and for the perversity of it, as more of a usual warm-weather drink.

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