Wednesday, October 28, 2009

With My Partner in Crime

She is looking at me as if I'm something she owns.

She always knew what she wanted -- to become a psychologist.

But she had little interest in people or what made them tick.

No, she wanted to study apes. Chimps, orangutans, miscellaneous monkeys. She wanted to study them and understand how they thought.

She had no patience for human foibles and was constantly confused by the pettiness and meanness of the people she knew.

She worshipped Jane Goodall and imagined a life of deep meditation in the jungles. (Which, I'm pretty sure, would look a lot like this.)

She was one of the skinniest people I'd ever met and every woman I'd ever met thought she was unspeakably gorgeous.

Her interest in apes was a secret and I was one of the few people who knew. This made me feel great. I had secrets too, but I didn't share them with her. I don't know how this made her feel.

Then she spent a semester overseas. In the jungle. Living with the great apes. And came back a changed woman.

"They made music," she told me. But the music wasn't the beautiful sound she'd imagined; it was discordant, violent, and terrifying.

The changes in her were immediate. Her smug seriousness and certainty vanished, replaced by a lightness. She suddenly developed a sense of humor and the absurdities of daily life amused her instead of depressing her.

And she started listening to music. And dancing.

She gained a little weight, started going to bars, and became interested in people. Even when they were mean. Or petty. Or terrifying. Or making music.

Then she got a boyfriend (not me). And another one (also not me). And a third, whom she completely loved (again not me). She told them her secrets (not me) and by the time I was ready to tell her my secrets she was long gone.

And, yeah, she eventually did become a psychologist -- but she specializes in people, not apes. (Link for Gmail subscribers.)

5 comments:

Connie said...

This is so well written! Kudos to you.

Connie

Anonymous said...

You forgot the best ape-suit video of all time Harry Nillson "Coconut"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tbgv8PkO9eo

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

So Alex, have you published any short or long fiction that I could look up? This is, as Connie noted, great stuff. Also, I thought I'd seen every Kinks video on the internets, but no! What a great find.

thingy said...

Hello. I loved this.
So much, in just a few, perfect words.

Alex said...

Thanks, Connie, Who, & Thingy!

Anonymous -- I've heard stories that one of the apes in that Nillson video was John Lennon, but I guess there's no way to know for sure.

Who, stay tuned... I'm working on a novel and a bunch of other things you might find interesting. :)