January 14, 2015: Giant

A giant resides in Queens. Aptly named The Queens Giant, the tree stands hidden in Alley Pond Park, part of the Brooklyn-Queens Greenway.

Strange News: So you can talk?

Queens Giant: Yes, that so hard to believe?

SN: Trust me, nothing is hard to believe anymore.

The Giant stands at nearly 134 feet. A tulip poplar that has been called the oldest, living thing in New York.

SN: So what does a talking tree do for nearly three hundred years?

QG: Nothing. Shit all. I can’t even move. I mean, if there is a breeze or something I might sway a bit, but that’s it. It sucks being a tree.

SN: Sounds boring.

QG: You’re telling me. I just stand around and yell at people, animals. Trick birds into thinking there is a cat in the branches with them. It’s the little things to pass the time, you know?

SN: You must have seen a lot in 300 years.

QG: I don’t have eyes.

SN: Fine. You must have experienced a lot then.

QG: I guess. I grow, my leaves fall off, dogs pee on me. Lovely experiences.

His few remaining leaves shudder and his bark creaks.

QG: But I do hear some shit. I’ve got hearing like a bat! All of the conversations in the park reach me. The birds like to gossip, too. Do you know a woman named Claire? Lives down around Douglaston? Girl’s got seventeen boyfriends. That’s right. One, two, three all the way up to seventeen! Can you believe that?

SN: It’s pretty strange.

QG: Apparently she’s really stingy, too. Doesn’t give the birds any bread.

SN: She keeps it all to herself, huh? Seems pretty greedy.

QG: Honestly…I doubt she even carries bread. Who carries bread on a date? Birds, you know how they are, they think every human that comes to a park is going to feed them.

The tree sighs. A squirrel climbs up and disappears into a hole.

QG: You know what sucks? I’ve been here for hundreds of years, and I only know of two bodies being buried around here. You’d think with that much time on Earth I’d have seen more. But, no. Only two!

SN: Anyone famous? Maybe Jimmy Hoffa? That would be pretty cool.

QG: Who? I don’t know, man. I don’t know you’re celebrities. I’m just a tree.

The tree stops talking. I get the sense that it’s staring off. Thinking. With a mind as old as his, he’s probably solved many of the questions we struggle with every day.

QG: You know what? You should find that Claire. According to Shirley, the tabby cat down there, she’s pretty hot.

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