When the trees start to flower, I am overcome with a bizarre obsession. As I drive around, all I can think of is sneaking up to every flowering tree I see and cutting off branches, then running off with them.
It used to be that I would fantasize about bringing them home and making grand flower arrangements, like the giant kind you see in the entrance to the Metropolitan Museum. I controlled myself by telling myself that cutting off a branch off a tree for something so impermanent would be wrong (to say nothing of the thieving part of things).
But obsessions are wily and changeable. To overcome my “it’s a waste” objection, this year the Chinese water torture has taken on a new theme: what if I went around town cutting small branches from the flowering trees and then brought them home and rooted them into saplings? Then (in ten years or so) I could have my very own flowering trees! The only thing stopping me at this point is the fact that rooting cuttings takes a lot of attention and I know I would just wind up with a depressing forest of dead twigs. And the fact that I do not have enough land for a collection of flowering trees.
I think maybe I will buy myself just one. Maybe that will cure the obsession?