Untitled Number Five

Dear Asshole,

Come and get your monkey. It’s been two months. It shits everywhere. I haven’t had a banana in weeks. Asshole, why did you just leave me here with your monkey? You said you forgot it. How can you forget a monkey? Before you leave the house, always think to yourself: keys, wallet, cell phone, monkey. If you don’t have any one of these items, you don’t leave the fucking house.

And it cries. All night long. A deep, hollow cry. I think it has monkey PTSD. The monkey also shows signs of aggressive behavior. It listens to Rollins Band. It’s constantly cracking its knuckles. Last week I caught it fingering a stuffed animal. I don’t know why it would do something like that, but god damned if it didn’t.

It moves on the counter tops just like a Bollywood dancer. It holds its hands by its head and moves its neck back and forth. And that disingenuous smile. It’s too big. I don’t believe that smile for one minute. More like a third rate Bollywood dancer if you ask me, Asshole.

And it smells. Like Drakkar Noir and absinthe. I haven’t a clue where a monkey would get absinthe, but god damned if it didn’t. A few weeks ago I went to the back of a German restaurant. I was there to get a bottle of Jagermeister with the opiates in it. That’s the only place in town you can get it. It’s not legal in America. So I walked in, and there was that monkey. First in line. Cracking its knuckles. It keeps picking at its hair. It’s worried it’s losing it. The damn thing’s pushing forty.

I try to bond with it. I took it to a strip club. The tiny one off the interstate. We walked into its red wallpapered interior. It only had one stage. I wasn’t sure how a monkey would respond to a strip club, but it seemed to know what to do. It immediately took a seat in the front row, and put a dollar in its mouth. The stripper came by, and grabbed the dollar with her breasts. But the monkey wouldn’t let go. A tug of war game quickly evolved between the monkey’s razor sharp teeth and the stripper’s powerful breasts with the dollar bill serving as the rope. This went on for minutes. Finally, the stripper gestured for the distracted bouncer, and we got the hell out of there. The monkey was flipping everyone off as we ran to the door. Maybe this monkey isn’t so bad. No, what am I saying? It almost got us killed.

I remember almost forty years ago when you first got that monkey. I’ve told you this at least twice a day everyday since then, but it bears repeating. If a guy comes to your door and says, “Hi. I’m Jim Jones. I’m going door to door selling used monkeys in order to support my church, which is a new branch of Judaism, because I’m the messiah,” maybe you shouldn’t buy a used monkey from that person.

You need to get back here right away, and pick up your damn monkey. I’m at my wit’s end.

***

Dear Asshole,

I never thought I was capable of killing anything, until I met your monkey. I was all out of options. Last night I got it drunk. I took it to a strip club. Got it a lap dance. Then we got in the car. I kept driving for hours. At first the monkey was just bopping its head to the music. Then it got still. It cried. “Not now, monkey.” It stopped crying. I could see it moving around from the rearview mirror. It reached up to the front seat, and it handed me two hundred dollars cash. From the look and smell of the bills, I knew where the monkey retrieved them. I shouldn’t tell you the rest.

***

Dear Friend,

How is it that I miss that monkey? I misjudged it. I watch “Monkey Trouble” late at night and cry.

It still had to die, though.

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Daniel Shapiro was born in Chicago and raised in Wichita, KS. He is finishing his last class at Columbia College Chicago. He will be getting a degree in television writing and production. He has been preforming at readings and doing stand-up for about six months. The author’s sister, Barbara Shapiro, helped him write the preceding monkey story. He felt she ought to be credited rather than run the risk of his coming to bodily harm.