Red Heads & Monkeysbyaltare 4©
A true story
When I was in my teens, I lived on a quiet, tree lined, street in Chicago. Nothing much ever happened. That is, as long as I stayed inside.
I was, what was known, at the time, as a freak, (long hair well passed shoulder length). On one warm summer day, I was talking with some neighborhood friends. Rich Rogers, Toni Panoseo and one Rob Nemseck to be exact.
Toni began telling us, that a new family, was moving into the old Gabor house, just down the street. This was indeed big news, and it got even better as he spoke. He started telling us, that he had seen them earlier that day, and that the family consisted of, the mother, a son, and of all things, a monkey!!
He said the boy was young, maybe five years old, was his guess. The interesting thing was, the boy was stone deaf, and he had a monkey as a pet!
Being a red blooded, young man, I inquired about the mother, of course. (First things first.) Toni said she had long, red, wavy hair, was about five foot, three or four, and was as cute as hell. After getting all the information I could on the red head, I naturally asked about the monkey.
Toni said he had not actually seen the monkey, but assured us, there was one, sure as hell. He suggested, that perhaps the monkey had stayed behind to finish the packing or something. This I discounted almost immediately. Everyone knows, monkeys can't pack, right? Although, I remembered my Uncle had once told me, if you gave monkeys enough paper, they would be able to write Shakespeare, or some shit like that.
Being the skeptical type, I was determined to see for myself, just how much of what I was just told, was true. Ok, truth is, I was hoping the red head, was as advertised. And I figured, what the hell do I have to loose, I mean, seeing a deaf kid, and a monkey, all in one day, would make for a memorable day on this street.
My chance to find out, came about a week later. As I began my morning constitutional, I saw some figures standing down the street from me. I thought, this is great, I won't even have to cross the street. I can just introduce myself as I walk past them.
As I began walking, my eyes strained to make out details. At first, all I could make out, were some fuzzy figures. But, as I drew nearer, I could see a small boy, standing next to a young woman. There seemed to be something perched on her shoulder. My eyes really straining now, I thought, could it really be a monkey????
My question was answered, as I traveled the remainder of the distance between us. It was, indeed a monkey!!!! I was momentarily distracted, from my true purpose for wanting to introduce myself, by the delightfully, animated creature, that sat gesticulating wildly, upon her shoulder. I watched for a moment, as this creature, swayed back, and forth, throwing his hairy, little, arms in the air, and making all manner of strange sounds.
Turning to look at the woman, I began to speak. I said, "My name is Jack. How do you like me so far?"
She smiled, and chuckled quietly, then replied, "I'm Cindy, and this is my son, Frank."
I turned towards the little boy, (and remembering what Toni had said), I said in a very loud voice, "Hi Frank."
Cindy spoke. "He can't hear you, but if you speak slowly, he can read your lips."
I apologized, and began welcoming them to the neighborhood, using all my charm, and wit in an attempt to ingratiate myself, as Cindy was young, and very good looking, and I was, after all, a teenage boy!!!!!
The conversation began to flow, and I felt, I was in perfect form. It wasn't long, before I had her smiling, and laughing. Just as things were going real nice, the creature on her shoulder, reached out, and grabbed a little fist-full, of my hair, and began to pull!!!!!!!!
I became rapidly aware, of an intense pain, which made my eyes water, as he continued trying to free the hair from my head. I struggled to get a glimpse of my attacker, through my watering eyes. I believe, that I briefly saw him, leaning back, muscles straining, laughing wildly, as he tore at my hair. The pain grew more intense as the attack continued. I had to do something!!!!
So, I spoke. I said something like, "HEY! WHAT'S WITH THE F*#^IN MONKEY????????"
I heard her say, laughing slightly, something like, "He's looking for salt"
While I found this insight interesting, it did nothing to alleviate my pain. I told her that I don't keep salt on my head, and suggested she tell the monkey that. But the attack continued. I was now determined, to act, and act fast!!!!!!!! But, how does one defend one's self, from an 18 inch tall, insane, monkey??
I reached up, and got a hold of his hairy, little wrist, and began to squeeze!! Cindy came to my rescue, and helped me free his grasp. The pain slowly subsided. I said the only thing that came to mind, "That's some monkey you got there!!!"
Undaunted by this little set back, I was more determined then ever, to win her affection. So, I started the conversation again, and, in time, things were going well again. My eyes stopped watering, and she even stopped laughing, eventually. I began to feel back in control of the situation again, when in a flash, the monkey was upon me again!!!
This time the attack was more sudden, and violent, then the last!!!!!! It was at about this point, that I became painfully aware, that monkey's differ from other small animals, with which I was familiar, in some key aspects. Of most importance at the moment, was the fact, that monkeys have hands, and apparently, the will to use them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
He had somehow managed, to get a hold of my upper eye lid. I could feel his little finger nails, digging into the top and bottom of it. His thumb on the underside, and his fingers on the top, as he tugged and pulled, and twisted!! The pain was excruciating!!
My first reaction, was to pull back, away from the source of the pain, but the prospect of dislodging him from his perch, and leaving him dangling from my eye lid, held me in place!! I spoke once again, this time saying, "What the F#*$k is he looking for now??? I felt my right hand make a tight fist, as I readied to launch it, at his jabbering, little skull.
I felt the muscles in my arm tighten, and, at the instant as I was going to send my fist sailing into my attacker, a thought crossed my mind, which stopped me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I realized, that there is an unwritten law, against hitting a deaf kids monkey!!!!!!! I mean, I would never be able to show my face on the street again, without someone saying, "There goes the jerk that beat up the deaf kids monkey!"
Thankfully, Cindy came to my aide, and removed my tormentor. I made some excuse, like being late for something or another, and quickly made my way down the street, to the relative safety of the corner liquor store.
As I went, I thought, I have just been assaulted, 200 yards from my own house, in broad daylight, and there is nothing I can do about it!!!!!!! I thought briefly about calling the police, but it would my word against his, and, with my reputation, I would surly be the one, that wound up in a cage.
Fortunately, they didn't stay in the neighborhood long. I only saw them one other time, and this time, I did cross the street!!!
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