874. In desperation I resorted to rope. I tied several two-by-fours to the branches of the tree with the rope, and then, standing on a chair, I jumped upon them like mounting a startled horse by surprise. The various branches of the sumac tree all broke at once and everything ended up on the ground. I had murdered the sumac tree even though I had not meant it any harm. I was just like Lenny, in Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”.
875. My crime did not go unnoticed. My mother confronted me and asked, "Albert, why did you destroy the sumac tree?” I explained, “I was trying to build a tree fort.” “But why would you try to build a tree fort in a sumac tree?” This second question she said more to herself than to me and did not expect me to answer. To me, it sounded more like, “Albert, why are you such a stupid little boy?” I couldn’t even face her apron but stared down at my shoes, the laces I still had not learned to tie.
876. Late in the afternoon I occupied myself with throwing stones at the mortuary wall until, as luck would have it, I broke their only window. After that I went inside, told my mother about it and said I would be in my room until the police came to take me away.
877. Just a few years after my love affair with Cynthia I fell in love with Jane Russell. This was a love both tragic, and confusing for me. It was especially confusing as I was a child at the time and I had absolutely no idea that I had fallen in love with her. It came about unconsciously, just like an illness with an incubation period.