It's standing under the tree.
Taking shade on a hot day?
Oh. Like stopping to catch your breath after being chased? Did you win? A race?
Nothing like that.
It's like standing under a tree. A fruit tree. Hungry and hopeful for both meal and nourishment.
Isn't that the same thing?
As a race?
No. The meal and nourishment.
Not all that feeds us nourishes.
It's like standing under a tree looking up. You've seen people at this tree before and even as you stand there now, they come and go. Sometimes, several pieces of fruit hail down at once. Falling directly into the skirt of a lady who stretches her hem out just in time to catch them all.
Like manna from heaven?
Sometimes, it's a man who seems to know exactly what part of the trunk to tap, which end of the tree to shake lightly. Maybe even throw some rocks up into unseen corners of the tree. The result always bears fruit and he'll catch every one, never letting his fruit hit the ground first.
Like when I dribble the ball and my nan tells me I'm skilful because I can keep it off the ground?
At other times, they sing. The people. They shake the tree and when none of their willing will work, they sigh and sing and slope against the tree trunk. And then, a bird (or squirrel) bored, over fed and restless, drops a chastely bit fruit at them.
The sound of several pieces of fruit hitting the ground often wakes these people out of their downcast slumber. They pick the discarded fruit, happy for respite. There is no shame in hunger.
Which one are you? How do you get fed?
I am yet to find out. For every time I look up, all I see are leaves and nothing, it would seem, I do bares me fruit.
It's like watching someone walk into the same spot you have been standing on. A patch of earth that you have worn bald from pacing. But as they casually stroll up to the tree, leaves roll to the side to give way to low hanging fruit previously hidden in the folds of the evergreen leaves. And with one arm stretched, this person with no strain at all, picks a fruit at a time from the same stem, stopping only when their bag is full.
And when they leave? When you take their place?
It is a barrenness. The feeling of the have-nots.