Amanda Hocking

a tree fell, and I was around to hear it

April 30th, 2010 by
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It’s raining, not horribly so, but it was storming earlier. Thunder, lightening, all that. But it settled down, and I was sitting in my office, the way I do. And I heard this sound, the way I would imagine a big monster throwing up. And then water gushing.

So, naturally, I went downstairs to investigate. (I have a theory that if I’m afraid of something, then that’s the thing I need to do. So if I’m outside and I think a monster is going to eat me, I force myself to stand out in the dark and act like a stupid horror movie vixen.)


A tree in my yard has fallen on the neighbor’s house. Not a big tree. In fact, it was actually meant to be some kind of bush in a hedge, but it’s overgrown and nearly as tall as my 2-story house. But we have a whole row of them seperating our property from the neighbors, and I quite like it, because I quite privacy.

But now that tree is laying on the neighbor’s roof, right above their bedroom window. I investigated with a flashlight, and there doesn’t seem to be any real damage. I considered trying to pull it off the roof, but I thought I would hurt myself and/or make matters worse. Besides that, the neighbors appear to be asleep. Even tho a tree fell on their house.

I did not wake them up. But I’m wondering – what is the protocol on this? Is it my responsibility to take care of the tree? Does my homeowner’s insurance cover it? (Well, I rent, so does the homeowner’s homeowner’s insurance cover it?) Should I apologize? I don’t know.  


On a note related to this one, I’ve lived in this neighborhood my entire life (pretty much.) I’ve lived on and off in this exact house for the past 11 years. I do not know a single neighbor. I’ve never spoken to any of them except to stop a small boy from throwing bricks in my rose bush. I’m terrible at human interaction.


So… I’m getting nervous about talking the neighbors and wondering how I should deal with them. Hopefully, my platonic lifemate, Eric J., will do something to take care of the tree, or my cousin, who lives in a one-block radius. 


If there’s a ghost or a seriel killer or a werewolf, I can handle it. I can face anything that goes bump in the night becuase I refuse irrational fears. I’m not afraid of storms or tornadoes or earthquakes or aliens (and I once saw a UFO.)


But interacting with people – I freeze up. Completely. The strange thing is that my reaction has no basis on your social standing. I once met Michael Ian Black and I reacted to him the same way when a man held the door open for me – I freeze up. I say nothing. My mouth refuses to work.


So, I am neurotic. And I don’t mind dealing with a fallen tree or property damage, except that it means I have to interact with people.

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