Though the tree is dead, it’s home to a lot of bugs, birds and bats, you can tell by the holes. It’s like the abandoned factory across the street from our apartment in Philadelphia that became home to the homeless, the time I asked our neighbor if it was on fire and he said it’s just the bums, cooking pigeons. We moved there for the raw art of it, the desperation of north Philly. The hollowed-out spaces and what occupies the cracks around the edges, the artists. We thought living there would make us that, and it can to an extent. But maybe the reverse logic holds true, too. Out here in the suburbs I’ve grown comfortable parking my Mercedes each day in the grocery store parking lot, picking out boutique wines, fresh fish. The tree in the park was dead but they left it there for the birds, and I wonder if it made me an artist by the sheer fact that I noticed and tried to do something about it. Even the birds seem cleaner here, they’ve got more options. The starving artist vision holds charm when it’s desperation you need, to create. I’ve never come close to starving, and the only lice I’ve had is from my kids. It’s a fine line between art, craft, and hobby. And many, many lines in between.