I get to participate in a craft whereby the corpses of trees are used to sop up human dreams, then passed on as gifts, and kept in public mausoleums where they can be exhumed and borrowed.
Last post, I scrivened on about one of my favorite places to take a midnight walk in Montreal: Westmount Park. There the trees are tombstones. It’s also a really nice park of winding paths.
Tonight, I had a pregnant skull full of heavy thoughts about a particular someone. I took a walk to clear my head. To the park. It was windy and a pseudo-spring that feels more like fall — the perfect sort of night for this kind of walk. I toured the park. It was good. I sat at a bench. I thought about the trees. I thought about pubs with funny names. I thought about what blues songs written in Enochian would sound like. I thought of nothing in particular.
Then I thought the heavy thoughts again.
I said to myself, “Self, you need to occupy your mind with something else for a little while.”
I looked over and noticed more of those trees, the ones with the metal plaques with names and dedications, the ones that turned the trees into weird tombstones — trees I hadn’t visited on my previous walks. For some reason, I find the dead names and words on the trees interesting, so I got up for a look and a diversion.
On the very first tree, the wind had twisted the chain of the plaque to face backwards. I turned it around. The first name, on the very first plaque, on the very first tree, was the name of the person stuck in my head.
I shit you not and hope to die.
Nevermore, Mother Hubbard!
I like late night walks. In Montreal, one of my favorite spots is Westmount Park. Already a nice place, midnight turns it into a new dimension, with its winding brick walkways, black iron, and empty playground–it’s all autumnal shades. “Creak-clink” says a chain swing in the wind. Places like that become yours after the witching hour.
It’s about this time that the lights take on strange properties, panting trees in ghost plasma. Living downtown, I’ve found exposure to trees to be a little more important, a little less for granted, a little more communionesque. But trees are not always trees…
I took a closer look, and some of the trees had dedications on them, to people who had passed. Suddenly the place took on graveyard connotations. Sepulchral trees. Not just a favorite haunt, but a haunt. Tombstones that shed leaves. Just me, the empty swings, and arboreal spirits. Do loved ones visit the trees? Do they visit in the day, or creep about at night like me? Do other people read each and every plague? What was Irene Kon’s least favorite color? Was Sally Gagnon looking forward to the change of the millennium? What kind of tree would I want to have my name on?
How does that line go? By myself but not alone.
Nights keep coming, and I’ll keep walking. I’ll visit Irene, Sally, and the rest. Someone told me it’d be healthier to get up in the morning and do my walks then. But I like the skewed view of midnight. I don’t think that’s a bad vice, as far as vices go.
Hug a tree and it might turn into a tombstone. But then we live in a world where rocks might be rock lobsters. I wonder what the tombstones actually are…
Oh…and if you’re going to be up late, you should be listening to The Tailor.