It’s enough to make you LOSE IT, Will, that people can even EXIST who have so little sensitivity or feeling for the few things on earth that are still worth anything. You know those chestnut trees I sat under with Lotte when we visited that dear preacher in St___, those magnificent chestnut trees! which, God knows, always filled me with the deepest inner peace! How intimate they made the churchyard feel, how cool! and how majestic the trunks were! and how they kept the memory alive of that dear old holy man who planted them so many years ago… the schoolteacher in town here always used to tell stories about him that he’d heard from his grandfather; he sounds like he was such an amazing person, and for me, the trees were like a shrine to his memory. I’m telling you, the schoolteacher had tears in his eyes when we were talking yesterday about how they were cut down — CUT DOWN! I feel like flipping tables, I could KILL the son of a bitch who held the chainsaw. I, of all people, who’d be shattered if I had two trees like that in my yard and one of them died of OLD AGE, I just have to stand back and watch. Well, Will, there’s still one thing! Still a bit of humanity out there! The whole town is FURIOUS, and I hope the preacher’s wife will get a sense from the cold stares & shoulders and the empty donation cup what a wound she’s cut in her parish. Because it’s all her, the wife of the new preacher (our beloved old friend also passed away), a scrawny cranky bitch who’s got every reason not to give a fuck about the world because no one gives a fuck about her. A dumb-shit passing herself off as sooo learned, always going on about her Bible study, trumpeting all the “family values” evangelist crap, shrugging off Santorum’s insane bullshit, sick as a dog so she can’t find any pleasure on God’s earth. Only someone like THAT could have had it in her to cut down my chestnut trees. I mean — gah! I can’t even! Can you imagine: the falling leaves made the churchyard messy and icky, the trees were blocking the sunlight, and when the nuts ripened, the kids would throw stones at them, which got on her nerves, it disturbed her in her deep meditations, mulling over the subtle differences between Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. When I saw how unhappy everyone was in town, especially the older people, I asked them, “Why did you let this happen?” — “When the mayor wants something done around here,” they said, “what can you do?” — But one thing worked out GREAT. The mayor and the preacher (who figured that maybe for once he could actually get something out of his wife’s pissiness) had this whole plan to sell the wood and split the profits; but then the county got wind of it and said, “hey, wait a sec!”, because it turned out they had an old deed to the corner of the churchyard where the trees were, and stepped in and sold them to the highest bidder. And they’re just LYING there! Oh, if I were the governor here! I’d take the preacher’s wife, the mayor, and the county — governor! — yeah, like if I were governor I’d give a shit about the TREES in my state!