The Monkey

by Athira Unni, 04/26/2020, Delhi, IN

Adult Category


The phone buzzed with messages on the WhatsApp group of the building. The monkey was causing enough trouble on the balcony.

Now it’s taking over the phone too.

I sighed and tried to divert my attention. The mashed potatoes were coming out well. Mike does not even like potatoes. But it’s not like we can get bacon for breakfast these days.

The refrigerator held enough eggs to last us a week. There was cat food in the cupboards and some compost for the plants. We’re good for this month, I tell myself.

But what should be done about the monkey?

***

“Mmm, this is good,” Mike comments. I see that his chin has tasted the potatoes too. I keep quiet.

We watch Netflix to mostly avoid the news.

“I cannot believe they made a docu-series about the virus so soon,” I say. Mike nods with his mouth filled with fried beans.

“Yeah”, he says. “Funny how a pandemic gets those creative juices flowing.”

That shuts me up. I sense the vitriol in his tone, knowing that its a reference to Tony.

Who we haven’t seen in months. Who hasn’t reached out even now, in these trying times…

Who is lost, or so Mike thinks.

Sure, our son might have chosen to be a writer for life. But he never wanted to piss off his manual worker of a dad.

I clear the dishes and head to the sink. The monkey is right outside staring at my through the window.

It isn’t big or scary. It looks lost.

Almost as if it needs food.
As if it needs care.