The roommate and I set out, cash in hand, determined to find a tree that "looks a little fierce and wild." On our second lot of trees, in the 5th or 6th aisle....there was Brucey. Bold, beautiful, proud and bushy. We knew he was the right one because he made us both stop in our tracks and say, "oooOOOOH." He chose us, you might say. Much like a wand chooses the wizard.
From there we proceeded into a loving but complicated relationship, involving many tree-stand setbacks, minor cosmetic surgery with a hand-saw, an ultimately awkwardly leaning stance (always ready for an awkward hug, we were told), his formal coming-out-into-society party with hot chocolate and a gathering of new friends, a batch of personalized cinnamon ornaments, a box of ornaments and ribbon borrowed from the closet at the church (shhhh), and regular cocktails of water, bleach and 7up. (Hey, it kept him alive for a whole month.)
Tonight I took Brucey in my arms and carried him on to a better place.
Maybe someday he'll triumphantly return as a nice ream of high-quality paper. Let us take comfort in knowing that he lived a rich, full life, surrounded by devoted friends, both new and old. Part of ol' Brucey remains with us still. (Literally, on my sap-encrusted palms and pine-needled hair, he is currently with me still.)