In a text convo with my friend, she asked how I was. "I'm fine, thanks." I said. "Just busy procrastinating."
She then proceeded to ask what I was procrastinating and I told her, though, for now I am going to keep it between myself and she. But, in true procrastinating form, rather than do the thing I'm putting off, I will regale you with a promised story about a monkey.
We have the most charming little zoo where I live. It's just big enough to be interesting and just small enough to go through the whole thing in a hour or maybe two, if you linger at each exhibit. Last year, for Ella's birthday, I visited the zoo with my children and my parents. We had a lovely time and near the end of our tour, we stopped at the monkey house. There are several gibbons there, two of which were in the outdoor habitat, one black with a little white beard and the other white with black marks on her face. We watched them for a while and somehow, the black one took a shining to my dad and I. He started following us when we would move around the perimeter of the habitat, enclosed in thick glass. It became a game. A very entertaining game for us humans made especially so by the white monkey who, for reasons that will remain a mystery, would wait until we weren't paying attention and swing down from on high and slam herself into the glass enclosure with a loud bang. It would startle us almost every time, but the black monkey continued to follow us, me in particular, as we ran back and forth in front of his cage amidst the slamming of the white monkey.
I would guess that we played this game for about an hour with our little monkey friends. We laughed and laughed and loved every minute of it and then it came time to go.
That was the end until about two months later. I was back at the zoo with my Mother's Group friends and I mentioned this funny encounter with the two monkeys to Maria and a few others present. Shortly, we came to the gibbons who, on this occasion, were residing in the indoor portion of their housing. My little black monkey was up in the tippy-top of the room looking out of a skylight window. For the first few minutes he didn't pay attention that there were new droves of people there to observe him. Then he looked down, saw me and proceed to swing down and plop himself right in front of me again, holding his long arms up with right-angled elbows. He remembered me. I was thrilled! He did this arm gesture on the previous occasion and made little kissey gestures with his lips, which he did again. I'm not silly enough to believe he was actually kissing at me, but it was so funny to watch those little black lips work. I began again my game of running back and forth in front of his cage to see if he'd follow me. He did, much to the delight of all who were observing. I had also mentioned the white monkey and her antics to my zoo companions, and she didn't disappoint either.
So there I was, running back and forth with my black monkey following coupled with the occasional interruption of the white monkey's slamming/startling action, leaving all present thoroughly entertained for a good twenty minutes. In the way of all good things, it came time to go and I found myself hard-pressed to walk away from my little black friend. I felt like I was abandoning him. He seemed sad to see me go, which made me sad, in turn. I held up my hand to the glass and told him goodbye, thinking I would come see him soon.
That was the end, until last week. On Thursday I went to the zoo again with my friend, Rebby. I haven't been in nearly a year. As we walked through the different exhibits, I mentioned my little black monkey-friend to Rebby and told her the two stories and how he remembered me. She seemed dubious, but I didn't care. I was excited to see him, to see if he'd remember me again.
As before, we came to the monkey house at the end of our zoo adventures. I saw my little black darling and his white companion in the outdoor cage, near the top. I walked up to the cage and he didn't seem to care even though he was looking right at me. Crestfallen, I thought perhaps it could be the hood I was wearing (due to the biting wind) and so I pulled it off. He was watching me as I did, and no sooner than he saw my head uncovered, he jumped up, swung himself on his very long arms to land in front of me, arms above his head, elbows at right angles, hands on the glass, and little black mouth gesticulating in kissing motions.
I was so excited! After almost a year, he remembered me! We proceeded to play our run back and forth game and I relished in these through-the-glass affections of my little monkey. Strangely, the white monkey just observed this time, apparently deciding to forego her slamming antics. That was fine with me.
When it was time to go, I felt sad, as did my Little Black. Well, I like to think he was sad anyway. There's no telling for sure, but he looked forlorn as I left. Not to worry, my little friend. I'll be back, and I won't wait a year for it. I promise.