February Monkey

Once again, Blork is calling for submissions for 12 Monkeys. The challenge this month is to name a time in your life when you really felt alive. So, no, not exactly an impersonal task.

As I looked back over the course of my life, I find that many of my alive moments have been chemically induced or at least aided by my acquisitions of material possessions or quick, easily attained sensual pleasures. After all, if you’re speeding through midtown Manhattan in the back of limo, doing coke of Drew Barrymore’s ass, all while holding a gun to the Vanity Fair journalist they sent to profile you, who wouldn’t feel alive? Good times.

I never get very personal on this thing but there have a been a few moments I can think of: last summer in Scotland, was one. Vimy Ridge, France, was another. When I used to act in local community theatre and the feeling of being on stage – something I can’t do now because of a self-consciousness that has increased as I got older.

But I’ll leave it at this one: When I was 18 and in Senegal, we stayed at a small n’ cheap resort before going off to the villages we were to stay in. We went swimming in a nearby river with the only warning: watch out for water snakes, they’re poisonous. Nothing relaxes the mind more than the certainty of death. When we got out, a little girl came over to us to show something she had in her hand. She opened her hands to reveal the head of a baby crocodile. She said she found it nearby (we assumed it was already dead when she found it). She was going to give it to her father as a present. Then she skipped off as a nearby radio played the Gypsy Kings.

I don’t know why that story comes to mind but there it is.


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