The tree had been an eyesore since the day we moved in. That was twenty years ago. I wanted to get rid of it but there’s always been something in the way. At the beginning, it was my first wife who really loved it. I had called tree removal in Melbourne and the guys rolled up with their trucks and equipment. They were about to lop the darn thing down when she ran out screaming and crying, tears streaming down her face. She begged them to stop. They looked at me and smiled, knowing that I still had to pay the bill.
I couldn’t cut it down so long as we were married. In fact, I think it might have had something to do with the break up of our marriage. Not the tree obviously but just her uncompromising nature. There was no way I could talk her out of it, or anything really.
The next time I tried to call in the arborist, Melbourne based tree doctors are all over the place. The tree loppers came by, ready to cut down the hideous tree which was getting in the way of the power lines and even starting to dig its roots into the foundation of the house. This time it was my second wife’s mother in law who stopped the whole thing. She ran out declaring that the tree was an apricot tree and why would we cut it down when we get so many free delicious apricots. I looked at the floor where all the squashed apricots were stained into the paving, and I shook my head. Yet another tree felling mission delayed. Needless to say, that marriage didn’t last either. Can’t be stuck with a woman with a domineering mother in law.
The third and last time I tried to get rid of the tree, my new girlfriend tried to stop me. She said that she really liked the tree and could we please keep it? I told her, “Of course, anything for you, darling.”