yesterday, i beat my sister and b-i-l to big lots by a rather wide margin, and as a result, i had some time to burn. the situation was made more interesting by the fact that i had just left my therapist, where we’d discussed, among other things, my anxiety over time that isn’t filled with purpose. the purpose doesn’t have to be particularly purposeful, but it does have to be planned, something specific. so when i found myself with about half an hour between “therapist” and “spend my money on stuff that i’ll decide really is needed”, i got a chance to practice not being a fruitcake.

i wandered around beverly’s fabrics and crafts for a bit, musing over wtf i was going to do about christmas presents this year. i played with the idea of buying paper mache boxes and doing… something to them, to make them cookie-holding-worthy. nothing says love like paper mache, right?

i went across the street to starbucks to procure my yearly cranberry bliss bar. the girl at the register really, really liked my hair, it seemed to just delight the hell out of her. cue another internal episode of “keep the dreadlocks because they seem to encourage positive attention, or accept that i’m kind of over it and keep walking around with hairy sausages on my head?”

i then went back across the street and into the christmas tree… area? stand? section? i’m not sure what to call it, and the knowledge that everyone knows what a section of parking lot fenced off and filled with trees looks like doesn’t help me at all, this needs a name. and “lot” won’t work, because then it’s a lot inside a lot, and that’s just ridiculous.

ANYWAY. into the christmas tree amorphia. something i’ve noticed this year is that all the trees seem really nice. green, shapely, fragrant–i’ve yet to come across a tree that wasn’t pleasant to be around, and these trees were no different. i was initially drawn in by the short little fatties that were as big around as they were tall, and from there on drifted through huge towering nobles and the stereotypical 6′ acute angles. these last ones were the problem, unfortunately. i’d touch a tree, run my fingers through its branches, and think, what a lovely tree.

and then i’d feel it.

the tree next to it. staring right at me. it had branches too. they were also covered in velvety soft needles. it was as tall, and its backside didn’t have a space near the bottom like that one did.

and then, over here! look at me! see how my branches flare at the bottom! you are the only person capable of truly observing my tree-esque glory, and if you don’t buy me, i will be hacked into logs and burned while i’m still alive.

THAT is what EVERY tree in that lot was saying. i was quickly and painfully made aware of my role as the tree messiah, and i couldn’t just take one tree, because then what would happen to that tree? how could i just leave it there, in the cold? the sky darkening, the lights going out, it would just sit there, alone, crying spindly foliage and dreading its black future as a wreath. WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME, WOULDN’T I PLEASE THINK OF THE TREES?!

i experienced a great despair as i thought of my tiny, pathetic bank account balance and how my house, while comfortable for two people, two cats and a lizard, would be a poor substitute for sprawling acreage and nightly mistings from coastal fogs. more pathetic than my bank account, however, was the fact that i was seriously entertaining the idea of buying every tree in a lot so they wouldn’t be hurt.

i left, quickly. i went to big lots and returned my malfunctioning cat laser toy. and no, i did not think about what would happen to it when it was no longer in my sight.