Tuesday, October 05, 2004


Speaking of monkeys-- yes it is quite apparent to me that no one was speaking of monkeys, but I can’t think of a better way to introduce the subject of monkeys under the circumstances, which circumstances I will not waste further time in describing if you don’t mind, but get right to the subject at hand, whence I have strayed right off the bat in an unwontedly tangential effort, you will kindly note, to be polite to and considerate of my generous and most highly esteemed reader.

So. Speaking of monkeys, as I swung here and there and back and forth high above the ground along the pipes and struts of the house-encircling scaffold newly erected for the roofing process that is about to begin-- I was getting in an early bout of painting under the eaves and external roof beams, upper window frames and suchlike places (normally unreachable other than with a ladder pretty near to heaven), in which locations and positions I would now and then pause to gather strength for my next advance, the while admiring the fantastic view from way up there-- I couldn’t help thinking of my very own monkeyness as my hands so comfortably gripped the pipes as though they were the limbs of trees, and how agreeably even at my age I swung from strut to bar to strut and my feet found purchase using toes with much tacit and generally unrecognized knowhow in all these regards, and how far my body could stretch to reach—it was all collectively amazing to me in a non-simian way, but I sure could use a prehensile tail, why ever did we give that up?

I was also much impressed by how at home my otherwise blank mind was in calculating the best path along the complex arrangement of struts and pipes from point A to point C via point B, and how surprisingly natural it still felt, even in seniority, to hang from a pipe by one hand while reaching up under the eaves with the other, as if for a ripe fruit, and though monkeys themselves never have to paint a damn thing their entire lives, they also don’t get to pause in their airy reaches and admire the scenery—that’s two differences between us and monkeys.

As I was about to say, speaking of monkeys, for some reason I haven’t seen any of them around here in quite a while. Maybe when something disappears from your environment you become it.


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