And Monkey Looked Up at the Stars.


The dark ceiling looked impenetrable.

Monkey looked down at the pile of bones next to him to seek a second opinion on this but none seemed forthcoming.

To an outside eye, a pile of bones might be an apt, if literal description of the items next to Monkey. But to him, they were his Friend.

Both lay on their backs with gazes fixed upon the endless black that came to cover the treetops each evening. Monkey could never pinpoint when the darkness would come because sometimes it would arrive when he was very awake but cold, and sometimes it would appear when he was very tired, yet warm.

The darkness made his home dark, even at this very high spot where the more timid of his brothers wouldn’t climb.

Monkey liked that he could look down and see the whole group but could never seem to remember how he came to be with them. He just sort of remembered always being around these monkeys, attached in some way, and happy to stay.

Every day was comfortably similar. Look for food, eat the food, throw dung at your stupid friends, pick mites off the elders and give bananas to the pretty ones.

He wasn’t one for straying too far from the routine. That’s what happened to his friend. Now his Friend rarely speaks and is occasionally a bit boring. One minute, he was the life of the jungle, then nothing. Then he smelled. And now he just sits there until Monkey picks him up to shift him around a little.

The view was especially clear this night as he peered up at every white spec. Sometimes the blackness obscured the specs, and sometimes even the really big white one (his favourite). The big white one changed shapes a lot and sometimes almost disappeared but then would get bigger again.

He wondered what would happen if all those little white specs were ever to move together. Would they make another big white one? Is that how the big white one got there in the first place? How black would the covering on the treetops be if they weren’t there at all?

He had almost nodded off, but now thinking about collecting all the specs together caused him to snap to attention. He tried rousing his Friend to tell him but his Friend would likely sleep through the end of the world.

The darkness over the jungle made him feel safe and trapped at the same time. Yet, this night he moved from his spot, leaving his Friend to watch over it, and Monkey moved higher – much higher than he dared before. Climbing each branch, greater his elevation, and no matter how high he climbed, he could never get closer. The blackness and the little white specs just seemed to go on forever to his left, to his right, behind him, and in front of him.

He paused at this highest point, then started a descent back to his spot. He thought he might tell his Friend what he saw but Monkey knew it would be lost on him. His Friend hadn’t shown any curiousity at all in life since he started to smell.

Monkey looked down again, at the ones he will get bananas for tomorrow, throw dung at, pick mites off, and carry around. Then Monkey wondered something he hadn’t wondered before.

 

Would tomorrow be different?


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