Just Monkeying Around

Do you ever feel like you’re living someone else’s misery tale?  The other day as I was about to clean my oven I had flashbacks of the story of Sylvia Plath who stuck her head deep in the oven after carefully taping off the kitchen door and leaving bread and milk on the other side for her two babies to eat.  Why, oh why, would I think of that?

The first thing I tried was to take the oven door off, but it was too heavy and refused to let go as it had done so many times before.  Then I tried to extend my arm to the back without sticking my head in the oven.  Finally I just had to take the plunge and dive right in.

That’s the way it is so often with my life.  I just plunge, down and down until my feet hit something solid and I bounce up again.  

The fall, in my humble opinion, comes from having this sick way of thinking that I trust everyone until they do me wrong.  But that gets me into trouble so many times.  The funny thing is, though, that I don’t really want to change it.  

It’s nice to live without fear, for the most part, and see people as equal, for the most part.  There has to be some happy medium, though.  

When I was a youngster my little monkey bar gang of girls decided to play King of the Hill one day.  I wasn’t really interested in the game but, you know . . .  herd mentality. 

So, in typical fashion, I studied the hill and picked a path away from the three or so boys on the pinnacle who everyone else was clamoring to overtake.  I put my arm up in the air and our little gaggle of girls ran forward, full speed ahead, yelling “Charge!”  

Scrambling up the hill, I remember someone grabbed my ankle and I shook him off; I may have kicked him in the head while I did that.  It’s okay, though, because when I got to the top I was helping everyone up, thinking we could surprise the three boys standing on the end. They would turn around and we would all be standing on the top together, enjoying the view.  

There was one boy, though, who gave me a shocked look as I extended my hand to him.  “You’re going to help me up?” he said.  And once I did, he pushed me off the other side.

Of course, I went to the teacher on duty and told her what he had done, but she replied with “That’s just how the game is played, dear”.  

I just didn’t understand the game. We returned to the monkey bars and taught each other how to swing upside down, and how to cross to the other side the quickest we could, and how to monkey crawl, switching from swinging by our hands to grabbing hold by our knees until we reached the other ladder.  

We had great fun.  I’d rather be a monkey any day than King of the Hill.

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