This Post is About Monkeys

(While spending time at the Seneca Park Zoo, there were plenty of things that went through my head — more thoughts than expected.

There was one deja vu moment, which felt like a deja vu moment, but it definitely wasn’t a deja vu moment. It was hearty reminder — that sudden pithy and cutting reminder — of the book that I have yet to finish.

It’s probably not going to happen now. I’m fine with it.

It’s because one of the chapters takes place in a zoo. The scene features baboons and commotion that goes on in the cage. In real life, there was commotion that did take place in the baboon compound — family issues. However, the less relevant moment came earlier at a totally different primate nook.

Instead, to compensate, the focus will be short stories and novellas. Not because these are shorter, but because of the preciseness and detail that can go into it.

Just like the memes say: The first minutes of the movie Up were a greater love story than the entire Twilight series.

But this is not a post about my fiction failures.)

A baby orangutan is definitely a crowd stopper. The look of her — her name is Bella, because I looked it up — the two-year-old’s impetuous and blossomed (acknowledged, but not fully understood) curiosity. She addressed the gathered crowd. All she did and had to do, was glare. 

She was aware.

(The question was and still is — Who is in the cage? Who really is on display? Are we trapped or is it the monkeys? We’re both primates, that’s one thing for certain.

But this post is not about philosophy.)

She walked over to the corner of the cell and slid her hand through the space between the wall and the post. Her fingers twirled the air of the other cage, the home of the black-handed spider monkeys, which didn’t take too much of a liking to this. 

One of them howled and squealed, and it yelled an effort to get their neighbor out of their yard. “Get off my lawn!” — but feebly.

(Or were they messing with us? Were they giving us a show?

The tension seemed pretty real, true, honest. The neighboring monkey, which was later assisted by its associate, approached the orangutan with great concern. Eventually, Bella left to tag in parental intervention. This is an adult-only conversation.

But this post isn’t about monkey intent, the definition of trespassing, or the legal action that is to follow.)

Whether it was Kumang (a.k.a. Mom) or Dena (a.k.a. Pops) — (I’m pretty sure it was the latter.) — they slowly strolled over. Clearly, after a primate-speak argument, Mom told Pops that it was his turn to deal with “it.” 

Denda came over and just leaned on the fence, showcasing his strength and the pressure of dead weight against the chain-linked barrier, which bulged outward. As the spider monkeys argued about the impish child sliding her hands into their home — as if it was similar to cartoons: A character takes the fresh, out-of-the-oven pie off the window sill. 

Denda didn’t complain or fuss, but just looked at the neighbors as if to say: “Really?” 

“Tell your kid to stop monkeying around.” … “No.”

(This is all to similar to real life, but this post isn’t comparing neighborhood interaction and life experience from ago.

It’s just fitting that these types of interactions are similar to that of our own. And the uber-religious say that there is no such thing as evolution.

For those tuning in: My spirituality lies with the fact that we all have to evolve to reach that perfection. Religion and science mesh. Something, which is beyond our true understanding, had to create something that created something — this something is the chain of events that exploded from the Big Bang.

It’s said that *God* created us in “his” own image. And it’s said that *God* is divine and perfect. Clearly, none of us are perfect, so we have to learn and grow and develop to reach that perfection. It’s similar to learning a new occupation, learning how to write in cursive, learning how to speak or mumble, learning how to ride a bike and learning how to walk before that, and learning how to crawl after learning how to roll over, and all this comes after you’re out of the womb.

But before we reach perfection, we die.

But this post isn’t about religious beliefs.)

By the time the zoo trip was over, the orangutan confinement was revisited. The spider monkeys had retired. Bella and her parents did as well. We saw her on the back of one of her parents. It was almost nap time. She looked up as she got comfortable.

(I wonder if they know they have a limited space to live in. The nook is limited.

I feel lucky to freely visit Rochester. There is no frustration of having to leave through a door, walk down a hall, and then enter another door. Although I-90 does feel like a long hall/haul at times. Instead of hanging pictures and sconces, there is natural and cement beauty. There’s a guy eating a burrito in the car that’s passing, and there is a child asleep against the window — buffered by a pillow, of course.

We can’t really talk to the primates, but we can probably get a gist of confusion. Sometimes our own communities and cities feel confining, but we make the best of it. Social media, as bittersweet as it is, gets us through it — we get to interact with others from other places. They help coax us to get out and explore, not just squeeze our fingers through an opening.

We’re lucky to try new things. We’re lucky to fall in love, too, and make little monkey-like children, who we will dedicate our lives to protect, and they’ll grow older and amaze us. Our tastes will develop and change, but our dedication and integrity and roles should not.

And bananas aren’t all that. Luckily there is other fruit to enjoy.

After all, this post is about monkeys.)

2 thoughts on “This Post is About Monkeys

  1. This Post (which is about monkeys) is So Very Lovely.

    I’ve always felt a bit weird upon seeing primates at the zoo. Perhaps it is because they are so similar to us. There is a colony of retired chimps at a medical research facility that is near where I live and work. One of the last times I was that way I wanted to go walk by their enclosure and I realized I had been picturing the chimps as if they were more like their orange and playful cousin the orangutan. These guys were intimidating and powerful. I couldn’t bring myself to get very close at all.

    1. Thank you. 🙂

      I wish I had the knowledge and ability to study the primates. I’m sure we could learn a lot from them, similarly to Jane Goodall’s research.

      They do have intimidating qualities, especially when it comes to their young ones. I’m sure the majority of parents feel the same way, too, regarding our species.

      The baboons were on the aggressive side. There was commotion and there were issues among the families of the species that day.

      Oddly enough and similar to my fiction, there was a parallel to what happened. I find that odd, especially considering the feeling of deja vu. But I don’t want to read too much into that.

      Hope all is well.

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