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LJI Week 13 - Brain Full of Monkeys

This is my entry for this week of LJ Idol, Season 9. Please check out the entries of my fellow competitors and consider joining the therealljidol community. This week's topic was "Barrel of Monkeys."



Being the mom of a preschooler often feels like having a brain stuffed full of monkeys. They distract me with their antics and fling errant thoughts out my ears.

So the numerous times lately when I finished a transcription assignment and then neglected to upload it, I blame on my head full of monkeys. Walking around in a shirt covered with mustard stains after eating a hot dog? Head full of monkeys. Forgetting the first name of one of my son's playmates? Monkeys. There's mischief going on up there, day or night.

Rather than completely emptying out my brain house, they have filled it with vestiges of themselves. So I find myself lost in teenage daydreams: bouncing on a small exercise trampoline while watching "The Monkees." Dreaming of Peter Tork, the cute innocent one, laughing at the silliness as I bounced and bounced. The reunited Monkees -- sans party-pooper Michael Nesmith -- played at a state fair near us about that time. I never asked my parents to buy me tickets, because I was certain they would nix the expense. I vow to teach my son to tell me what he wants.

My brain monkeys show me a clip of Gilda Radner in a "SNL" short from the 1970s, Tom Schiller's send-up of an artistic Italian film. At the end, she walks away from the camera, telling the viewers to stop following her. Then she has a second thought, and glides back to us, bending down to welcome us with comforting arms, saying, "I love you, my little monkeys." And I love you, Gilda, who died way too early, but who inspired me to try to make all those monkeys laugh (with just a hint of Chaplinesque pathos).

The monkeys bring me Curious George, the literary creation whom my son once called Monkey George. I'm reminded of how he once scolded an invisible George for imaginary mischief, declaring that George had been naughty and would now go in the burp cage for punishment. In case you've never heard of a burp cage, my little Kung Fu Panda told me it's a cage where people burp on you.

The monkeys curl plastic hands into reminders of that frustrating childhood game I refuse to buy my son. The only monkeys my brother and I could successfully link hand-to-hand were those whose paws had been dented and flattened by the family dog.

The monkeys bring me a magazine article, in which an Indian man born with a skeletal abnormality resembling a tail has grown so accustomed to it that he does not want it removed, although doctors say it could lead to further spinal deformities. His devotees consider him a representation of Hanuman, the monkey god, and they bring him tributes greater than anything he could've expected from his humble birth.

I beg the monkeys to stop, to let the chaos subside so that I can find a pathway through the din. I need to remember why I'm here, and where I'm going. But they only chatter and demand that I pay tribute to them. Praise be the monkeys who loft creative ideas, who bat around my imagination, who suckle silliness. And praise be my little monkey: my four-year-old boy clinging to me with legs and arms. He declares himself Magnet Man, possessing the special ability to stick to things. He shadows me and chatters. The monkeys have their way, forcing me, Zen-like, to live in the now.




You can watch Tom Schiller's brilliant short, "La Dolce Gilda," on Vimeo (http://vimeo.com/48286686). It parodies the style of Italian director Federico Fellini. The scene I mention takes place at 2:29.

Comments

( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
roina_arwen
Jun. 19th, 2014 09:53 pm (UTC)
I like all the monkeys (and especially Monkees) references, and the idea of the monkeys flinging errant thoughts out of your ears. They *do* like to fling things!

Ah Gilda... she was certainly something, back in the day.
alycewilson
Jun. 20th, 2014 01:00 am (UTC)
She really was. By the time I really began to appreciate her work, she'd already passed on, which made it doubly sad to discover someone I felt was a kindred spirit.

Those monkeys are flinging things day and night! Wish they'd take a break so I could pretend I've got things together for five minutes.
tonithegreat
Jun. 20th, 2014 03:38 am (UTC)
Hooray for a Hanuman reference! And solidarity to you for living in the monkey house. I just got my two soon-to-be kindergartners back from a few days spent with my mom, though, and I am so glad to have the chaos back in swing!
alycewilson
Jun. 20th, 2014 10:41 am (UTC)
It would be awfully quiet not to have him in the house for that long. I know even for the couple hours he was in preschool, it seemed like the walls were echoing with silence.
halfshellvenus
Jun. 20th, 2014 04:32 am (UTC)
I can't believe KFP is 4 now!

And our kids also referred to Curious George as Monkey George. :D
alycewilson
Jun. 20th, 2014 10:42 am (UTC)
Yes, he's getting to be a big boy!

That's so cute your kids also called him Monkey George. My husband and I were actually a little saddened when he began to call him by his proper name.
tamaraland
Jun. 20th, 2014 08:07 am (UTC)
Oh you nailed it. A head full of monkeys. That's exactly what I suffer from but couldn't find a name for it that didn't contain vulgarity! Thanks!
alycewilson
Jun. 20th, 2014 10:43 am (UTC)
LOL Glad to be of service!
eternal_ot
Jun. 20th, 2014 10:58 am (UTC)
Ah! you summed it up well...Loved all the references here..esp the Hanuman..that's where my mind went and I ended with Mythology this week..:) A nice read. Good work!
alycewilson
Jun. 21st, 2014 12:37 am (UTC)
Thanks! I liked all these ideas so much I had to find a way to include all of them. :)
bleodswean
Jun. 20th, 2014 02:36 pm (UTC)
Hahahahaha - great analogies!

Edited at 2014-06-20 02:37 pm (UTC)
alycewilson
Jun. 21st, 2014 12:38 am (UTC)
Thank you! Happy to make you laugh.
jem0000000
Jun. 21st, 2014 01:14 am (UTC)
I like how you capture the sense of chaos while still moving in a linear fashion through your theme. :)
alycewilson
Dec. 9th, 2014 09:28 pm (UTC)
That is more or less the feel of my usual day, which is never simple and straightforward any more, thanks to KFP.
kagomeshuko
Jun. 21st, 2014 03:39 am (UTC)
I think I prefer a brainful of Monkees to that of monkeys.

However, I love this! I think I'd rather be put in a burp cage than a lot of other options.

Also, I love "Magnet Man!" How sweet!
alycewilson
Dec. 9th, 2014 09:29 pm (UTC)
I love the Monkees, too. I have been known to go around humming, "Daydream Believer" to an embarrassing degree.
kagomeshuko
Jan. 5th, 2015 07:52 pm (UTC)
That and "Hey, Hey, we're the Monkees" are the two songs I probably know the best by them.

Almost everybody thinks I'm crazy, but I KNOW there was a cartoon of the Monkees that used to air about 26-28 years ago. I was in the hospital and it was one of the things that would make me happy. My Mama knew when it was time to turn on the cartoon.

The Beatles one preceded it and I didn't care if I missed that one, but I always had to watch The Monkees.

Nobody can seem to find it online or anywhere. My sister remembers it, though.
swirlsofblue
Jun. 21st, 2014 07:55 am (UTC)
A lovely piece, love your interpretation of the prompt with all the different monkeys
alycewilson
Dec. 9th, 2014 09:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks. It's a combination of all the different approaches that occurred to me when I considered the prompt.
onda_bianca
Jun. 21st, 2014 02:54 pm (UTC)
Ha, this was cute. :)
alycewilson
Dec. 9th, 2014 09:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Sorry about the delayed response.
fodschwazzle
Jun. 23rd, 2014 05:10 pm (UTC)
I certainly know the sensation, and you depicted it in a way that was better than my telling. Well done.
alycewilson
Dec. 9th, 2014 09:31 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I always strive to show rather than merely tell.
whipchick
Jun. 23rd, 2014 06:23 pm (UTC)
Now I want to look up the Hanuman guy. This reminds me, too, of "monkey mind" while meditating!
alycewilson
Dec. 9th, 2014 09:31 pm (UTC)
I'm not familiar with "monkey mind" during meditation. What does that mean?
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )

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