High Maintenance

By Abhishek Pandit

Norbert moved in beside the sorority. To attract the ladies, he gave his home and himself a makeover. Manicured the gardens, moisturized his skin.

Maple trees disrobed at leisure. He raked their ochre leaves off his labor of love, whistling ‘No Woman, No Cry’, then shaved.

Next morning, they’d smothered the grass again. Also, stubble resurfaced.

Rake, rinse, and repeat.

Months passed. He snapped. Didn’t rake, didn’t shave. Why bother? It always came back.

Naked maples shriveled. Shivering, he wept. The ochre lawn turned white.

Eventually, green.

Tipsy on springtime, spinsters visited, stroking Norbert’s untamed beard, giggling. Such rakish charm.

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“I’m a computational linguist, musician and social researcher who loves to harness the power of language and words to help us discover our connections to other worlds. And to ‘other’ people.” – the writer

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