The Age of the Monkey Bars – Gone at Last

A deep, heavy languor has seeped into my joints, partly from the sudden summer heat, and partly from a rich, velvety contentedness.


My movements were not all so deliberate and unhurried. When I was seven years old I used to race through all the monkey bars on the playground and have my parents time me so I could always beat my previous standing record. The whole thrill of it was in the speed.


I never won any prize for swinging through the monkey bars like the Flash, but by the time high school had wound it’s way round the bend, my room was full of ribbons, certificates, and trophies for doing things first, doing things best, and doing things well.


We threw out all that junk when my parents switched houses. They were gathering dust anyhow– the junk, that is, not my parents.


Thank God, and good riddance.


I have nothing left to prove, nowhere left to run, and nobody else to be. After all, I’ve won every contest, hurried to each next step, and tried to be just about everybody else on the planet. What’s left? Just me, baby, just me. Me and this summer heat and this summer breeze blowing through my windows. Me and this furry little dog at my side, the even littler human in my belly, and my husband, never too far away.


Glory hallelujah, home at last.


I liked the monkey bars when I was seven, but constantly reaching for the next rung, the next thing, the next stage gets wearisome fast when it’s driven by desperation. And it always has to be fast when there’s pain involved; try offering someone a leisurely root canal. No, no, let’s hurry this up because maybe there’s less pain in the next phase.


I get up slowly. I chew my breakfast and swallow my morning tea slowly. All I have to do is live, and live happy.

Nah, there’s no rush. I’ve got the rest of my life for this.


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