Monkey Boy Rides The Train
efore I got on the train I was wondering about things like would I get the brief done by Thursday and had it been a bad idea to wear blue shoes to work, but then when I was on I saw that there was a boy who had problems greater than mine, though he didn’t seem to know it. He was very small and had a tiny head and it seemed he must have had some sort of a disorder that made him look kind of like a monkey, and everyone on the train was grinning at him and waving, and his mom was big and fat and she was grinning, and this other skinny woman was saying to her, "If I hadn’t had my kids so young I’d have named them different names, but I would still have named Bob Bob." Presumably, before I got on the train, she and the other mom had established that they both had kids called Bob, and the fat mom kept grinning, and the kid was grinning and we all were grinning down at this poor misshapen monkey boy who was dancing around and wiggling. It was all very cute until he started thrusting his pelvis in and out, in and out, which even on a monkey boy seemed awfully suggestive, and then he stuck up in the air both of his stumpy little middle fingers and waved them at everyone in the train, and I know I was pretty surprised to see him do that, but no one else really looked fazed by it, not even his mother, who was fat and kept smiling rather benignly as if her monkey son was a perfect angel. Her stop was before mine and she collected the boy with the small head and his brother, who looked just like him except for looking more like a regular kid, and they all got off the train, but before they did the small kid thrust his pelvis one more time in the direction of the woman who’d had kids young. No one spoke for a moment when that family left the train, but then the woman who liked the name Bob said again, to no one I could see, that she really did like the name Robert.
Arin Greenwood lives in New York City, where she works as a lawyer. Stories of hers have been published in
Passionfruit, Phony Lid Pickpockets, Travelmag, The Providence Journal,
The Columbia Law School News, and Beyond the Border: True Stories by Young Travelers; Arin also has a web site, the Loo Review, a journal of stories, art, and reviews of bathrooms.
Potentially, might be ...