There’s A Monkey Between Us

I meet a few strange people on my travels. Some stranger than others, and others too strange for the word strange. But of the strangers that I’ve met, as I can’t say for the strangers I will meet, none have been quite as strange as the stranger on the chair. Forgive me for using the word strange too much. The word strange just seems to fit, and I am without a thesaurus.

When I was younger, much younger than I am now, and much more stupid, much, much, more stupid, I had it in me to walk outside our village in search for my true love. Like I said I was much more stupid back then, much, much more, and it never dawned on me that finding true love among strangers in a jungle was as idiotic as having my uncle’s horse nail me on the crotch for fun. (And that sounds pretty idiotic already.)

So I went. And I realized very quickly that I was an idiot. But not a very big idiot since the big idiots never really realize they’re idiots. Besides I was young, much younger, and much more stupid, much, much more. But to make a long story short (as lazy storytellers love to say), I failed in my search.

Just as I was about to turn back towards my village, I noticed a lady leaning against a tree. A very beautiful lady I must add, too beautiful for me. But being young, and stupid, I decided in me that I had found her that I was seeking. (Or should I say “She that I was seeking”? Note to Editor: check this.)

I was about to take a step towards her, when I saw directly across her was a man sitting on a chair. His chair was odd, almost like a squarish single seater, which wouldn’t have been odd in an old living room with an armoire in front of it, but looked weird in the middle of the jungle outside my village. The man was older than I, but not very old, maybe somewhere in the middle of my 15 (at the time) and my grandfather’s 64. I’m sure it’s safe to say that his age fell somewhere in between that. I could never really tell how old people were. I still can’t. I once met this female, a cute one I must say, that I know I was starting to impress with my wit until I asked her how old she was. She told me, “You must never ask a lady her age! But I’ll let it pass. Guess how old I am.” I don’t remember if the number I gave was too young or too old, but I do remember we didn’t talk very much after that. Actually, she left without saying anything. Anyway, back to the strange man sitting on a strange chair.

I was a little disappointed to see that the lady had a partner, but being a positive fellow I convinced myself that she was unattached, and that the man was either her father, her brother, or an evil master she needed saving from. If he was her father, I could ask for her hand by promising to take care of her, feed her well, buy her nice things, make a lot of beautiful grandchildren, and name at least one of them after him. If he was her brother, I would promise to take care of him, feed him well, buy him a lot of nice things, and tell my children to make him their favorite uncle. I didn’t know what I would do if he was her evil master, but I would find a way to save her. I truly was much younger, and much more stupid, much, much more.

I looked to the lady on my right and the sitting man on my left, and I decided to approach the man first. Slowly, I walked toward the sitting man. I could hear him speaking. I was pretty sure he was talking to the lady since there was no one there but the two of them and the trees. Then I drew close enough to hear him say over and over:

I would stand there with you,
But there’s a monkey between us.

You could sit here with me,
But there’s a monkey between us.

We could ask him to leave,
Or shoo him away,
But for now,
There’s a monkey between us.

I found this weird for two reasons. The first reason is because he kept repeating himself. He’d say the exact same words, in the exact same way, with the exact same semi head bobbing people do when they’re trying to memorize something. I found the second reason even weirder. Actually, I found it disturbing. Because as I turned from the man to see what the lady was doing, I realized I was right in between them. There’s a monkey between us. Was I the monkey? Was I in their way?

Then it hit me. Literally. And I knew for sure that I wasn’t the monkey. I looked up just in time to catch another drop of wet monkey crap hit my face. So there really is a monkey.

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David Bonifacio

David Bonifacio Entrepreneur, social worker, writer, artist, CEO of Bridge, CEO of Elevation Partners, Managing Director of New Leaf Ventures. #db

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