The Tree

Albert had been walking Maddie for almost two hours now, and his feet started to hurt. He didn’t have a clue as to where his dog was taking him. All he knew was that it was nearly five, and that’s when Maddie had to go. The Black Russian Terrier circled an unknown tree three times before it decided it was time to tinkle.

“That’s right, girl, take your time, it’s all I’ve got left now.” moaned Albert.

“That’s rather depressing, don’t you think?” questioned an unknown voice.

“What? Who is this, who's talking?” Albert asked. The seventy year old was used to missing the voices of those present, now he could hear the voice of those who were not. “Hello? Is someone there?”

“It’s me silly.” Replied the unknown voice.

“Who is this?” Albert demanded. He was sweating now and was looking everywhere; but all he could see was his dog Maddie and the small tree she was hoping to urinate on.

“Me silly, I’m right in front of you.” It was only after a few moments that Albert realized that he was talking to a tree.

“Tree?” Questioned Albert.

“Yes! You got it.” Albert was astonished; he quickly grasped his head trying to understand what was happening. He was so wrapped up in the mind consuming moment that he didn’t realize that he had lost sight of Maddie.

“I’ve lost my mind.” Albert stammered.

“No you haven’t, I’m just bored so I thought we might talk.” Said the Tree.

“Can all trees talk?” Albert asked.

“I’m all trees; I’m a lot of things actually. But to answer your question, technically yes.”

“What does that mean?”

“Oh I’m sorry, I’m God, Denis.”

“My name is Albert.” Albert corrected.

“At this point it really doesn’t matter.”

“What does that mean?” Albert questioned. Albert had started to wonder if he was actually losing his mind. But what would spur this mental breakdown? He had started that Tuesday like any other: breakfast, pills, shower, and then a few appointments; nothing unusual and nothing unheard of. “What are you really?”

“I’m God, why do you ask?”

“How can God be a tree?”

“Why would I not?” Questioned the Tree defensively.

“Trees are relatively weak; people chop them down and burn them. So why would the creator of the universe be like this?”

“I don’t expect you to understand the logic a super entity uses Denis.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. I’m just trying to comprehend how this is happening.”

“I see what’s happening here, you don’t fully understand your situation Denis.”

“Albert.”

“My name is just Tree or God, Denis, not Albert. You see friend, in my infinite wisdom I have created a whole world all around me in order to fulfill my needs. This is the world you inhabit. Although you think you have a past, you only currently exist for this particular present.”

Albert could not follow the logic of the omnipotent tree; it was apparent by the look on his face that he would need further explanation.

“What are you talking about, Tree?”

“Denis, everything in your life has led up to this moment in history. Your past is gone and after this moment so will you.”

“Are you trying to tell me, I’m going to die?”

“I’m trying to tell you that in two more minutes you won’t exist. You will have served your purpose and there won’t be a need for you.”

Albert was immediately moved. He had often wondered what his purpose in life was and now he would know.

“Tell me Tree, what was, is, my life’s purpose?” Albert braced himself, he was ready to hear his reason for being and it was only 4:58.

“I was thirsty, Denis.” said the Tree.

“Wha-What?”

“In a few minutes your dog will pee on me, and I will be quenched, that’s all.” Albert was blown away, numb from the shock that his life was so arbitrary.

“What did you just say?” asked Albert angrily.

“I need your dog to go number one Denis, so I can have a drink. I’m a tree remember?”

“That’s disgusting!” Albert screamed.

“I’m disgusting? You eat apples and bananas. Do you have any idea what I consider those to be?”

“Not that, my life! All these years and for what, so Maddie could go to the bathroom? That’s why you created me? That’s what my life means to you?”

“I’m sorry Denis, it was the only way. With seven billion people on the planet and over a trillion other organisms most of the important jobs are already filled up. This was the only thing I could have you do.”

“Now what do I do?” Albert asked as he watched his small dog urinate on the tree. “Do I just walk away into nothing or is there a plan in place?”

“You won’t even notice the difference until it’s over.”

“I feel so alone, Tree. Could you please give me a few more moments?”

“That’s not how it works, Albert.”

“Oh,” Albert paused to take his last memorable breath “thank you for your honesty, Tree.”

“You’re welcome, Albert.”

Albert looked at his watch and it was 5:01, Maddie had finished her ritual and was leading her owner into the unknown. Albert quietly followed his Black Russian Terrier and after a few steps he decided to take a look at the tree, one last time. Only to realize that it was gone and so was he.

The End

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