Friday, November 4, 2011

Stakeholders AGM

I have a confession to make. I like climbing trees.

Cool breezes sweep the highest branches, so the shade there is cooler than indoors. And the view from inside the tree is a refreshing change too. There could be a real estate boom in tree-houses if this fact were more widely known. And a real passionate environmental movement. Unfortunately it looks weird to climb trees. Worse, because only snipers behave like this in today's Western movies, tree-climbing is highly suspect behavior, more so in the era of Al Shabaab.

But one day, the branch I was standing on was solid, the grass many feet below was lush, and the shade was cool. After a while spent surveying the landscape, my sights happened upon The Ex and locked on her when she strolled absentmindedly into my field of view.

I was surprised to see her, and vaguely happy.

According to her trajectory, she would be passing near my tree. She hadn't seen me ensconced in foliage, so I briefly considered letting her just walk past on her way to her private undertakings. She was preoccupied enough to pass without incident.

Besides, I was dressed in my full tree-climbing gear, which also doubles as the get-up for totally bumming alone at home all day. But since I wanted to talk to her, I let myself down from my perch and suddenly dropped upright into her presence from not-too-far. She froze affright.

"Hi," I said as I rose slowly from a crouching stance. There was no hug, no handshake, no contact.

"You!" she said as she used up her last traces of shock, "You still climb trees?" The way she said it meant I was behind schedule. 

My explanation? I claimed to have been stalking her for a long time. "You look great. Still swimming?"

She didn't reply that one. Even when we had been together in the past, we were marginally dysfunctional. Our friends thought it was "cute". We didn't.

 "You know, we only meet once a year, and right now could be it." I was drawing my line in the sand. A boy will chase a girl to the end of the world - if he feels the chase is mutually enjoyed. Call it fishing for the occasional positive signal.

The Ex laughed brightly. She thought I was joking, or making things up.

But she humored me. "Alright. But no trees."

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