Once upon a time, a colleague bought a big silk ficus tree for his office. It lived in a corner, held Christmas tree ornaments and lights during the holidays but most of the time just held dust. One day, the colleague in a fit of pique transferred to another location, packed his grip and bequeathed me the tree. So I promised to care for it and took it to my office where it lived against the wall, unloved and undusted.
Eventually I changed residences and it dawned that this tree would fit well in a corner of the living room. But considering its height, I would need a nice friend with a van to transport. A van never materialized. Years went by. One day the office director announced an office move; all our belongings had to fit into two boxes or we had to transport the excess ourselves. More time passed as it usually does in a bureaucracy, and finally the director proclaimed that stuff had to go.
So that’s how I came to be on a bus last week with a dusty six foot ficus tree. I muscled it to the curb and hoped to flag a taxi van. But as luck will have it, these vans only appear if 1) your back hurts or 2) your knees ache so you have to literally climb into the seat. I felt fine so hence, no van. The tree refused to ride in a regular taxi. So there I was on the street hugging a tree. Then remembering the new-fangled bus with low thresholds and no stairs, I walked the tree onto to one. The bus driver looked askance as I flashed a cheesy smile. The tree and I got a good seat out of the way and away we went.
It traveled quite well as trees go. Its roots stayed glued in the white wicker basket that I could tip to keep branches out of the way of riders. It was quite courteous and didn’t hog a seat for the disabled or elderly. It drew a lot of double takes and comments from mystified travelers: a tree, was it real, was it silk, it gave the bus a little panache, etc. When I commented taking a tree on a bus was the most unusual thing I’ve ever done, one lady matter of factly pointed out that the tree was getting home. Tree and I got to our stop without a hitch and walked (with me using the trunk’s middle as a fulcrum) home without knocking over a single pedestrian. I smiled at the doorman who without batting an eye remarked it was a fine tree.
Tree now stands in its appointed spot in the corner of the living room looking a bit dwarfed by the high ceiling. I’m considering naming it. It got a thorough dusting and a sniffing by Patty. It’s getting a new fishbowl planter pot and stand as a homecoming gift. It’s amazing how a bit of greenery can liven a room. I don’t have a green thumb, but a deadly thumb that kills plants at the slightest touch. Decorators pooh-pooh fake plants but I don’t care. It really is a lovely tree.
How about Atticus the Ficus Tree?