It was shortly after Kevin and I first started dating that it became apparent he’d be a regular visitor to my apartment – the kind of visitor who needed a toothbrush, a razor, maybe a change of clothes. One sunny Saturday afternoon, we wandered up Broadway to find what he needed.
There was a large drugstore, one of a now-defunct chain, just a few blocks up, and that’s where we headed. We got the toothbrush, the razor, and a few other necessities.
One of those necessities was, of all things, a hair styling gel. To see my rough-hewn husband now, you’d never believe that Kevin ever used anything beyond the bare minimum in hair-care products. Back in the day, though, when he had to show up on the exchange floor every day, split ends were an issue.
He used something called Sebastian Potion 9, and it wasn’t cheap. It came in two sizes: a tube that held about three ounces, and a tub that held at least sixteen. Now, Potion 9 is the kind of stuff you use sparingly, a dab at a time. A sixteen-ounce tub would certainly last six months, maybe longer. We’d barely been dating that many days. I remember thinking the tube would be the way to go.
Kevin, though, held up the tub, which had a price tag in the vicinity of twenty-five dollars. “I think we should get the commitment size,” he said.
I didn’t know it at the time, but that’s what he’s like. He simply decides what he wants, and forges ahead. In that case, in my most incredible stroke of good fortune ever, what he wanted was me. Now, he wants apple trees.
We’ve talked about fruit trees many times, and we even planted a brown turkey fig last year. I have to confess, though, that I don’t think of fruit trees the same way I think about vegetables or mushrooms, chickens or bees. Vegetables, mushrooms, chickens, and bees are relatively short-term projects. The payoff is, at most, about a year away. Everything you do can be undone.
A tree, though, is forever. Maybe not end-of-time forever, but forever in the sense that it will last longer than we will, which is all the forever I’m willing to contemplate. I’m perfectly comfortable planting tomatoes because I’m pretty sure I’m going to be living here, doing this, in six months. Apple trees, though, are commitment-size.
“Do you balk at all at the thought of embarking on something as long-term as planting fruit trees?” I asked Kevin today.
I should have known what he’d say. You probably know what he said, and you’re not even married to him.
“No,” was what he said.
Each of us still has one foot in New York. Because this is by necessity – we both have business there – I’m spared the trouble of asking whether I’m also still tied to Manhattan by inclination. As happy as our lifestyle makes me, I can’t say with certainty that it’ll make me happy until hell freezes over, or our apple trees mature, whichever comes first.
Right now, though, I absolutely want to be living here, doing this. And if I start hedging because I’m afraid that, some time in the hazy distant future, I may want to live somewhere else and do something else, who knows what I’m going to miss out on?
So I’m happy to say that we’re going ahead with the apple trees. After all, the Potion 9 worked out pretty well.