Shameless self indulgence, Writing

The Grumpiest Monkey Presents: Tales from the City


Somewhere in the city…

A schizophrenic woman sits on a bench inside a train station, babbling aloud about past sexual trauma, completely lost inside her head while commuters brush past her without noticing.

A chunk of the ceiling inside an underground vehicle artery suddenly dislodges, landing on top of  a passing car and killing the occupant inside. She was on her way to the airport. Traffic will be a mess all morning. A cursory check of the tunnel will reveal no other structural defaults. Life will go on for everyone but the woman inside the car.

A worn out man in a faded green Army jacket waits outside a subway stop with an empty Dunkin’ Donuts cup in his hand. “Do you have 50 cents?” he asks the swirling hordes of working professionals as they pass. He is there every morning, always asking for 50 cents. How did he arrive at that number? Does anyone even carry change on them anymore? Would he be better off asking for a dollar? Or getting a smartphone and a card swipe?

A man staggers out of a bar on a freezing cold night without a coat. It is so cold, in fact, that the streets are all but deserted. Forecasters have warned of frostbite in 10 minutes. He wanders up and down the streets of the deserted financial district, then heads out towards the harbor. He disappears somewhere in the icy black water.

A subway train is stopped so that transit officers can remove a woman who has loaded  all her earthly possessions into the corner of the last car. There are bags upon bags stuffed into two fragile metal pull carts. As she is pulled off the train, the woman curses at the officers. Where will she go now? Where did she come from? What happened in her life to bring her to this point, where she is old and alone and carrying her world along with her?

A tall thin black man with braids, a flat-brimmed cap and sagging jeans stops to help a short, middle-aged white blind man cross a busy intersection. It’s a small moment that few people see, but it’s a rare moment of civility in a city that rarely has time for anything.


Shameless self indulgence, Uncategorized, Writing

The Following Things Are Wrong With Me Today

Your humble Monkey is not having the best Monday.

He woke up on the wrong side of his monkey bed, put his monkey trousers on one wrong leg after another, and greeted the day with a scowl, not a smile.

Perhaps these maladies (currently being experienced in glorious unison, like the world’s worst synchronized swimming routine) have something to do with it:

  • Full blown ABS (Awkward Body Syndrome)–It’s is real and it happens to Monkeys all the time. Symptoms include being incredibly skinny, lumpy and bumpy, and being unable to wear normal clothes without them hanging off his body more awkwardly than a hunchback in a hurricane.
  • Blemish on face just under nose and above lip–This is where your Monkey is constantly rubbing his hands while working at computer. Is it any surprise?
  • Overgrown hair on back of neck and ears–This became apparent after close self examination conducted in the bathroom mirror at work. Need to do some touch up work with the clippers, but one can’t really start doing one’s own hair at work, now can we? We will have to wait until the end of the day to remedy this situation, though by then we will have invented some excuse for why we don’t have to cut our hair after all. And so the cycle will begin anew tomorrow.
  • Chapped lips–Early season cold weather means lots of heaters getting turned on (powered up, not sexually aroused, you pervs). Dry winter heat means dry winter skin and lips. Also dry skin on back and chest.
  • Full Blown Narcolepsy— Perhaps your Monkey is just overtired for a Monday, but he can’t seem to keep his eyes open. They are burning red coals and the lids are heavier than 1,000 lead balloons. He would like to crawl under his desk and sleep on the filthy carpet of his cubicle. But he can’t.
  • Sweaty feet— Self explanatory.
  • Sweaty shins — Also self explanatory. But a little more unexpected. Why should shins sweat? Curious.
  • Sore knees— This ailment comes as an unwelcome surprise, seeing as your Monkey skipped all serious workouts during the weekend. Can one get sore knees from wallowing around in self pity? Let’s shoot an email over to the American Medical Association to see if we can’t find that out.
  • Full Blown Depression Is it any wonder?

Things I Don’t Care About

I don’t care about Facebook and Youtube videos and writing blogs and Twitter accounts.

I don’t care about Linked In and and networking for jobs.

I don’t care for job recruiters.

I don’t care about new social media trends and online networking and “going viral.”

I don’t care about fantasy football and keeper leagues and knockout drafts and online gambling.

I don’t care about and college basketball rankings.

I don’t care about diversifying my 401K plan and investing in real estate and cutting costs by eliminating unnecessary expenses.

I don’t care that the price of a cup of coffee adds up to $15 a week which is $60 a month and $1,800 a year.

I don’t care that my math is wrong in the above example.

I don’t care to do the right multiplication.

I don’t care about reconnecting with old friends and text messaging and RSS feeds and getting email on my phone.

I don’t care about high definition sports and on-demand programming and live streaming video.

I don’t care about the NFL Red Zone channel because it jumps around too fast.

I just don’t care about all this crap no more.