my neigbor’s keeper

I was outside today to check on the volunteer mulberry tree we have in our front yard. It’s right under an overgrown yaupon bush and honestly it’s a total mess of a botanical war as the two plants duke it out. The mulberry had a few berries last year but this year it looks absolutely loaded with them.

As I wandered around it, trying to find an early ripener, I saw a man riding down the middle of my street on a bicycle. He looked to be in his early twenties, black, with short hair, a beard and moustache, and glasses. He was wearing a baseball cap advertising the tire shop down the street, football jersey and sweatpants, and athletic shoes. I waved as he rode by and he stopped his bike and said “Hi!”

I said “Hi! It sure is a pretty day. This tree’s just crazy, isn’t it?”

As I spoke, he walked his bike over to me, a bit too close, and squinted at the tree.

“It’s mumblemumble!” he said, and pointed. Then he walked right up to the tree and plunged into the underbrush. He gestured to me excitedly, and I walked over to look where he was pointing, inside the trees. He spoke like he had a mouthful of marbles.

“It’s two trees, two trees, two trees!” he said.

“It is two trees!” I said. “And look, this one has berries!”

“Two trees, and berries!” he repeated, beaming at me.

“The leaves are different too, this one has small leaves, and this one has big leaves,” I said.

“Well look at that!” he said.

“I have to go back inside now, my children need me. Have a nice day!” I said.

“Have a nice day!” he said, got back on his bike, and pedalled off.

So, bike man’s loved ones, somebody else on 24th Street is keeping her eye out for him. No worries.

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