Among the Mammals
we aren’t God’s children, sculpted into form by His hands
to resemble His own image, what are we exactly?”
the third question I asked my date, Katie, at a shitty
dive bar last week. We were sitting in a horseshoe-shaped
booth, and I thought she was utterly repulsive, perhaps
even a transvestite. Five minutes into this date, which
we arranged through the internet, I had given up. Most
girls post pictures on their dating profiles that merely
conceal how fat they are. Katie had posted photographs
of an entirely different person.
I decided to broach a topic I was sure would infect our
date with a case of the plague and bring the night to
a quick end: I’d tell her about how we’re monkeys.
first two questions I asked her were about God. She brought
the topic up as an icebreaker and was going on about it
while we got our drinks from the bar and settled in the
booth. The story was that her dad’s an asshole, except
on Sundays when he attends Catholic mass.
you religious, too?” I asked her. “No.” “What do you think
of your dad being religious?” “He’s a fucking idiot.”
my third question. She took longer to answer that one.
guess we are…mammals?” She did these little head twists
as she spoke – closed her eyes, in fact, right
as she guessed “mammals.”
was a monkey who has lived for 29 years, who stares at
her own teeth as she brushes them morning and night, who
has a pair of tits, a set of ribs, hands just like a monkey’s
– and she was guessing at what she is.
unusual at all. Pretty much every monkey on this planet
thinks they are something other than animal. Hell, I spent
the first 24 years of my life blissfully unaware of this
most obvious facet of human experience. Once I made the
discovery, I spent about a month wondering why no one
had ever told me this before. I spent another going back
and rereading the writers and thinkers I admire to make
sure they hadn’t said anything I missed. I spent a third
month very pissed that not a second of my K-through-college
“education” had covered it. Then I went through a stretch
during which I decided no one talks about this because
They’ll Kill You if You Do. Really, that’s what I thought.
But I’m past that now.
now that I’m on the other side – now that I Know – my
relative wealth and good looks do nothing for my sense
of superiority over the rest of the monkeys out there
compared to this knowledge and growing faculty to articulate
it. It’s typical monkey behavior to lord what you have
over everyone else, including knowledge that you are one.
also know that once you talk about this monkey stuff with
people, there’s no going back for them, ever. They will
never forget what you said to them, and they will think
about it for the rest of their lives, ready to drop whatever
human theater’s going on in a flash to hear more.
to get back to Katie, I was in full gloat mode, breathing
heavily, eyes bulging as I asked her that third question.
I told her it sounded like she was saying that we’re animals.
She looked at me and opened her mouth halfway and nodded.
“I guess so, yeah.”
is a whale of a girl. She’s a shade under six feet, and
I’d weigh her in at 195 lbs. She has barrels for legs,
very thick wrists, and a gut. Her tits are big, but they
look small on her hulking frame, which looks kind of pouty
from the back. That’s Katie’s monkey body. The decoration
that she covered it with that night was, as she described
it, “Lauren Bacall” – a throwback wool skirt with pleats,
lots of gold bracelets and rings, dyed and curled chin-length
blond hair, and lots of mascara.
concluded that only a 29 year-old man would mention the
fact that he was dressed up like Lauren Bacall, and the
thick wrists all but nailed it down. I’m a bit of a coward,
so I didn’t have the guts to ask Katie if she was a guy,
or why she didn’t look a thing like the girl I’d seen
on the internet. Odd, right? I had no problem giving Katie
a quick biology lesson.
when she retrieved her wallet to give me $2 for the Jukebox,
I did tell Katie the puffy Chanel purse that she was sporting
looked just like one that I’ve seen trannies carrying
around. I just blurted it out. The purse - not the animal
stuff - was the punch that put Katie on the mat.
did you mean by that?” she asked.
lying to Katie about why I’d made the tranny comment,
I felt okay sitting next to her. Somehow the next hour
went by pretty quickly. We had two more drinks, and I
decided I was going to kiss her and feel her body to make
drove me home, and did I kiss her, managing to run my
fingers along her face and feel her tits before she stopped
me. No stubble. Smooth, soft breasts. Katie was a girl,
after all. I realized I still wanted to see her naked.
I told her so.
not that kind of girl,” Katie said.
mean, kind of monkey,” I corrected her.
she said, “Kind of monkey. Bye.”