Diagnosis #2


Jerusalem Thorn (Parkinsonia): Karen Blixen

I mean, no wonder it’s an ulcer.

You’d think Dr. Johnson would apply the Hippocratic Oath to his whole life, not just his practice. I will keep them from harm and injustice. That’s part of it! But you know that. It’s in the Greek. I guess he doesn’t think that applies to his neighbors.

Now, there you go. I can see you judging me. You think that I’m overstating, but it wasn’t your garden. It’s just like I tried to explain to that terrible judge. You spend years of your life tending to the flowers and trees and then it won’t seem a small thing.

I know, I know. There was no proof that he poisoned my Jerusalem Thorn. But I know he did. That tree was thriving until he started to complain. As if you can control trees. I mean, it was only just growing onto his property by a bit. And what would you rather have, a thriving tree or a perfect fence?

Besides, I invited him over many times to discuss the issue. Many times. But no, he always had a conflict. Some patient needed him. That nurse needed him is more like it. I definitely saw her over there more than once and I doubt it was a professional visit, if you know what I mean.

If he had come over, maybe it wouldn’t have happened, you know? Maybe the tree could have lived somehow.

Why are you looking at me like that?

Oh, no, that’s not what I meant and you know it. I just meant that if he had been willing to come over for tea, just once or twice, he probably would’ve realized that the tree wasn’t a problem. That it was bringing us closer. But now, because there was no justice, everyone in this village looks at me like I’m crazy. They act like I’m the one who poisoned the tree.

You don’t think that, do you? I mean, you’re my therapist, so you can’t think that. You can’t think anything, you just have to listen.

Read Diagnosis, the first installment of this story.