“You can live for years next door to a big pine tree, honored to have so venerable a neighbor, even when it sheds needles all over your flowers or wakes you, dropping big cones onto your deck at still of night. “ ~Denise Levertov
Across the street, behind my neighbor’s yellow two-story house sits this humungous old Maple tree. It alone stares in my bathroom window at me when I’m showering, dressing, and putting my make-up on in the morning. Fortunately, for my neighbors across the street, my bathroom window is high off the ground, so despite the fact the window extends the full length of my master bathroom my neighbors cannot see in… except for maybe the top of my head. Only their Maple tree shares my private secrets. I won’t tell, if you won’t.
Usually, my day starts as usual with me quietly climbing into my hot, steamy shower. I casually shower, dry myself off, do whatever else needs to be dealt with, dress, then put my make-up on, and dry my hair. Since my window is so high, I never worry about anyone looking in to see me running around naked. But, maybe I should worry as I am quite tall.
However, I did learn that due to our winter storms that this massive Maple tree was dying and some of the neighbors near it were worried about the tree breaking apart to possibly squish their homes. Consequently, it was time to cut the tree down before it did any damage.
Now, on the one side of my house I have a young next-door neighbor, who is quite talented in numerous ways. One of his talents is taking down dangerous trees. So the owner of the large dying Maple tree requested that our neighbor take down the old Maple tree before it fell on anyone. But to my knowledge there had been no date set for the tree to be taken down.
One morning I was happily enjoying my nice warm shower. Finally, it came time for me to turn off the shower, dry off and conduct my morning rituals. I was about to climb out of the shower when I happened to look up into the Maple tree. What should I see but my next door neighbor slowly and safely climbing near the top of the depths of the tall Maple Tree with his chain saw attached to his belt. Fortunately, he had his back to my window at that point, but I could tell he was about to turn in my direction at any second. From the position my neighbor was in the tree, as he turned he would be looking straight into my bathroom window with an unobscured view of me standing their buck naked in front of my mirror, like a deer frozen in the headlights of the truck about to run it over!
My fear being, that if my neighbor saw me naked, he would either fall out of the tree laughing OR fall out of the tree from shock and scare. Then how would I live with myself! Somehow I had to escape my bathroom without my neighbor seeing me… but HOW? I had to devise a plan of escape.
From his height in the tree, there was going to be nothing left to my neighbor’s imagination as he would be able to see nearly the entire inside of my bathroom. Now I had to think carefully about my options for escape. Option 1: I could dive into my soaking tub, grab a towel and stay hidden in the bottom of the tub all day as my neighbor climbed around in the mighty Maple tree. However, I would freeze to the bottom of the tub. Option 2: I could jump into the soaking tub, slide along the edge of the tub under the window as a thief would do as they hid from the law. But, I had a slight problem as there is a half wall at the end of the tub, which would prevent me from falling into the toilet. I would not be able to climb over the wall to step on the toilet seat as it is rather wiggly. I’d bet I’d fall into the toilet. Besides THEN my body would be fully exposed in front of the window and I know I would shock my neighbor out of the tree at that point. Hmmm, Option 3: Hit the floor, drape my towel over me like a turtle in its shell, and crawl across the floor to open the bathroom door to escape into my bedroom to safety.
As I had to think fast, to me, Option 3 seemed like my best bet. One catch… I had to grab my clothes off the bathroom counter and risk my neighbor seeing me.
So in the blink of an eye, I dropped to the floor, reached up to whisk my clothes off the bathroom counter, and did a Marine combat arm-over-arm crawl out of my bathroom to the safety of my bedroom. Or at least I thought I was safe. Our outside stairwell wall has a big window that I suddenly realized is aligned with my bedroom door. There in the tree, my neighbor could see through the stairway window into my bedroom, with me crawling across my floor toward the door. I inched along the edge of the wall and prayed my neighbor could not see me as I grabbed the door and slammed it shut so that I could safely dress.
The good news… I didn’t hear any screams outside other than the saw cutting through the branches of the magnificent old Maple as it crumbled to the ground. My neighbor was intact in the tree without knowing the life threatening hazard he nearly experienced, if he had turned around in the tree, to accidently look into my window to see me walk naked out of the shower. Hmmm, maybe if he had seen me, I could lie to say that I had a naked Roman statue in my bathroom. I wonder if he would believe me? All I could do is pray that he didn’t ask to get a closer look at the statue! Then what would I do?