Yesterday afternoon I bought bananas for the monkeys. One small dwarf gorilla, one sock monkey, and a wily gibbon with only one leg. Urasmus (the one-legged monkey) desired the fruit all for himself, but grudgingly accepted my diktat that they be shared among the three of them.
There are over three dozen small critters in this apartment in addition to the two humans. It has always felt a little crowded. My ex has half of them in her room, and sometimes I hear their voices strenuously arguing, before the she-sheep steps in and exercises common sense. They quiet down, and eventually there's just one voice, gently snoring.
People might consider it crazy to continue living with one's former significant other after the breakup of a relationship of many years, but remarkably, it works.
I cannot imagine another person putting up with either of us as well as we tolerate each other.
She speaks with the voices of the stuffed creatures, my space look like a bookshop shagged a tobacco store and together they made a Rosemary's baby.
The stuffed creatures do not like my mess, and keep trying to steal stuff. But they are easily distracted by criticism they feel compelled to make of each other, resulting in fierce quarrels.
I like the idea of eventually having a girlfriend again, but so far there have not been any suitable candidates (and please don't refer to them as "targets", "victims", or "crazy ladies").
Sure, half of this city is female, and many of them are splendid people.....
Not all of them are searching for Mr. "Resembles-a-defective-tweedy-academic-with-enough-peculiarities-you-can-shake-a-stick-at-AND-a-reek-of-pipe-tobacco-adhering", or young master "Makes-a-damned-fine-cup-of-tea-and-then-withdraws-into-a-book-for-the-rest-of-the-evening". If any suitable feminine persons are looking for either of those two characters, I have yet to be informed of it, and possibly they are looking in all the wrong places.
A trail of cake crumbs doesn't work.
I don't eat cake off the street.
It's a big city. Peculiarity abounds. I limit my perambulation ("infesting") to the Chinatown - Northbeach neighborhoods, including Nob, Russian, and Telegraph hills, and a very small part of the financial district.
There are just too many nuts elsewhere.
Compounding the issue, I haven't been looking. Longing, yes, looking, no.
I am a realist. Very few women would be satisfied with a man who stolidly refuses to raft down the Amazon or climb Annapurna, and whose idea of an ideal date is sharing a steamed fish at a comfortable restaurant where food is far more important than décor.
Plus pie or cake. If the occasion arises.
Pastries are very important.
But that's not all! The ideal date naturally includes a walk with a pipe.
No night-clubbing, no overindulgence in alcohol, no public snogging (otherwise known as disgusting displays of affection, or canine rear end sniffing), and nothing that could even remotely be called hip.
I still believe a bunch of nice flowers is a nice gift.
Shared cappuccinos or milk-tea.
Roses or tulips.
The various stuffed creatures have more active love lives than I could possibly imagine. The small black kitty mistakenly believes that the big black spider is her paramour, and will not admit that he and the little she-sheep with the pink bows are an item. The dwarf gorilla is goo goo over the senior teddy bear. And mister Froad has not yet realized that his caddish behaviour has ended his long-standing affair with the kitten, who would far rather draw blood than play cave or sailor with him ever again. The cow is a bit of a loose woman, and tries to snag the Froad, any one of the monkeys, the orange beaver, as well as the big black spider. She is French, and therefore considers herself irresistible. As all French bovines are.
One of the Totoros (there are three of them; one is taciturn, the third is missing) is determined that we shall have either gigolos or sailors!
He grins when he says that, and sounds utterly enthusiastic.
He probably thinks both of those things are candy.
"Cinnamon gigolos are the best!"
They're sweet and spicy!
It is rarely a quiet apartment, certainly not when both of us are in.
Such as, for instance, right now.
It would get very complicated if a third human were to enter this scene. My ex has just finished arguing with Louise (the four inch tall bovine), and is resplendently indignant in a red bathrobe in the television room.
I believe the discussion was about dairy products.
That cow has NO standards.
Kindly imagine a strange young lady reclining on my bed (but properly dressed!) trying to read while this racket is going on. No book can keep one occupied for long when small furry creatures riot.
A woman of spirit and resolve would feel compelled to plunge right on in. Neither she nor I would ever get any reading done. The tiny roomies have way too much energy.
There are times when I need to go outside just to collect my thoughts;
if I remain in the apartment they will be scattered.
It would be ungentlemanly to leave a sweet thing (who is trying to read) by herself to face the conversational and social mayhem of the roomies.
She would stand no chance against the one-legged monkey or the cow.
The small black kitty would run roughshod over her.
A gallant man stands by his companion.
And faces the approaching storm.
The terrifying distraction.
Let us not even mention Hello Kitty. She's a dangerous shit disturber, AND she has opposable thumbs. I have seen her eyeing the knives.
The Froad likes to strike poses with my pipes occasionally but hasn't figured out how to use pipe tobacco, matches, and a tamper.
I must strenuously deny that I used to rob banks with the jaunty hippo. He has an over-active imagination, and isn't clued in to reality.
That's MY wallet! Keep your paws off it!
No, I shan't buy you vodka.
Surely you can now understand why I head into Chinatown for delicious snackipoos and warm caffeinated beverages around tea time.
It's for peace and quiet and a smoke.
Mid-morning to early afternoon, on days off, are usually a good time for novels and tea, by the way. Sometimes the crazy furballs are still asleep. And remarkably, they don't say much when my apartment mate isn't around anyway. They're plotting mayhem and anarchy for later.
Sometimes I am not a very social man.
Or just want humans around me.
Not savage furballs.
Are there any questions?
And is there any cake?
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