"i am not honey," he says with a laugh, "and you are not a bee. we are trees. comfortable in our own positions. we'll look after each other."
"i don't want to be a tree," i say, "i want to be a bird."
"you're a monkey."
"i want to be a bird. i'll land on you, shit on you, and leave."
"you're a monkey. monkeys flirt. they go from one tree to another tree."
"i'm not a monkey. i want to be a bird. i want to stay when i want to stay, and then i'll fly... i don't know where i'll fly... i'll fly away..."
"okay. fine. you're a bird. you'll stay and you'll make a nest on my tree."
and then there'll be eggs. many round imperceptible eggs with a glossy surface. and then there'll be many many baby birds, all popping their heads up from their cracked shells and chirping and singing and making such wonderful noises. one by one, happy and crazy. a peculiar kind of family. and they'll take their first clumsy steps out into the open and maybe break a few bones but hold on and go on and learn how to sprint and soar.
or maybe there is no nest. just you, and i, keeping each other company. i'll fly and tell you what i saw when i flew. you'll stay and tell me what you saw because you stayed. now this would be a nice change. you're always walking ahead of me, and i have to wriggle my way through the gaps between passing strangers in order to keep up with you.
to this, you once remarked, "but, i always wait. i always wait for you."
"oh ya, that's true."
when i finally catch up, the image i see is always the same- that of your back facing me, and your arm stretched out, your palm facing outwards as if knowing and expecting me to take hold of it at any second. how amusing and endearing. it is as though you're patiently waiting for me to pass you the baton in a race you're confident we're winning.
or maybe we are trees. comfortable in our own positions. standing a little apart from each other, tall and straight and proud, despite the emerging lines of wrinkles on the dark barks, despite the deeply carved heart-shapes with arrows piercing through them and scratched names and bleeding words which cut into our soft white flesh.
when the wind blows, we'll gently lean towards each other, and our branches will bend forward and our leaves will brush against each other. tiny tickles, tiny touches.
or maybe the wind doesn't blow. and over the years, as we look at each other and pretend not to look at each other, our roots beneath the brown ground creep and crawl towards each other and slowly, carefully, entwine.