On a clear December night, when all the trees stand with their colorful past at their feet, you can see a certain tree. It’s not especially tall or stout or memorable at all really. But it has a ghostly aura around it – particularly a branch that looks as though it could carry a great weight. One of literal and figurative proportions.
It’s in a very small park, on the west side of Cincinnati, this tree, with its significant branch, the one I’m now bringing to your attention. The park, like the tree, is easily forgotten and does not get many visitors – perhaps that’s why I picked it.
If you happen upon this place, you may not immediately know or think anything of it. But if you stay long enough, I’m sure you will find – or feel (more accurately) – something unmistakable. The branch, hanging from the tree in the small, forgettable park, is where I hung my former self. He gave quite a fight and I’ll spare you the un-niceties, but he’s dead now. What was left of him clung to the nearest living thing – the tree.
Sometimes, I go visit the tree, bringing with me things it will need to grow tall, but it may be a losing battle – the tree is becoming sickly. You might think traveling there scares me a great deal, but it doesn’t. I can’t fully explain why, but suffice it to say that I feel happier now.
He was always very good at bringing me down and ensuring that I didn’t accomplish my goals. He often thwarted my dreams and called them “unattainable” and “impractical.” He’s much better at being a ghostly aura then he ever was at being a man.
Maybe, I go back occasionally to confront him and look at what he’s become, but mostly, I think I go to remember.
This last time, we parted amicably. “Onward and upward, ole’ chap,” I said tipping my hat at him. As I turned away I said quietly, “well, at least for one of us.”