Sunday, October 10, 2004

The Scheherazade Project: Theme for 7/3-7/16

Monkey On Her Back

She was always on the outside looking in, never a part of the group. She told herself she didn't care, that she needed no one. The forced and false self sufficence worked for a while but started becoming too big a burden to carry alone. She tried joining in the reindeer games and felt like she was making some head-way even though her social skills were rusty. She'd paste on an awkward smile and let go with a witticism only to have the joke fall flat and wither away. She soon realized they were tiring of humoring her and returned to her solitary ways.

She needed an outlet for her angst. She needed to share her loneliness. Wandering the aisles of a department store one day she found the answer. There, hanging from a display rack of school supplies, was a backpack in the shape of a blue monkey. She purchased him with the idea that everytime she felt left out, slighted or lonely she'd write a note expressing her feelings and put the note inside the backpack. That way she could confide in someone, get things off her chest and out of her head.

She walked the world with her "friend." It helped to write down her secrets and deposit them inside the monkey backpack. For a time she almost felt what she imagined to be contentment.
But the blue monkey grew inch by inch with each note she stuck inside. Eventually he became engorged, weighing heavily, with straps that cut into her shoulders.

There came a day when she could no longer carry him. She sat for a bit. She cried at the letting go. She loosened the straps and let them slide from her shoulders, stood and ran away from her burdens without looking back.

The Scheherazade Project.