The Monkey and her folks had been away for the weekend at an inn/lodge/resort type deal. Yesterday afternoon, I went to visit my uncle (her grandfather) and found her sitting by the pool. She was leaning back in her chair, looking world-weary. I walked up the stairs towards her.
She turned her head towards me slightly and gave a “This guy again?” look.
I sat down on a deck chair opposite her. She thought for a minute and then let out a loud “I suppose I’ll have to tell him the story at some point anyway” exhale.
“Well, we took a boat cruise on the river. The river was black and foamy. It was a pontoon boat. It was fun. It lasted an hour. It was called… something. We went kayaking. Me and Daddy. Everyone was over on the other side. So, we turned around and got a paddle boat. They were all kayaking (mimes it) and we were paddling up next to them (mimes that too.) We were all, like, ‘Hello there.’ Haha. It was hot there. And the horseflies. No flies. Just horseflies. (She instinctively swats at the memory of said insects.) There was a dance. Ages 5-15. They called it a ‘sock hop?” I have no idea why. It was a dance. They had themes or something. So, I went to the dance.”
“Did you talk to boys?!?!”
(Ignoring me) “They also had a spa night for kids 5-15. I didn’t go. But, they had a volleyball tournament. You know, two people against… well, two people. And they… play volleyball. We were going to put in a team, but then we didn’t put in a team. I put my hands in paint and then put them on the wall of the recreation centre. That’s what you were supposed to do. Put your hands in paint and then put them on the wall. So, I did it. I’m, like, putting my hands in paint and then putting them on the wall. (Shrugs.) I met three friends. Joanie, Janey and Princess Anastacia Beaverhausen. (Those may not have been the names.) They were 11, 12 and 10. I have no idea where they were from. Janey didn’t like me.”
“Is it because you talk to much?”
(Ignoring.) “Princess Anastacia just went with the flow. (She somehow managed to mime that too.) And me and Janie were like that. I mean, we were like THAT. (Puts two fingers together.) When we divided into teams to do stuff, it was always me and Joanie against the other two. And now I want to go to [local take-out restaurant.]”
“It’s that way,” I said, helpfully pointing west.
“I want a friend to come over and I want to walk there. I called two friends and they weren’t home. My daddy said he didn’t want any friends over. So, I am going to ask my mom when she gets home. I wonder if Mommy and Aunt [her aunt’s name] have a cell phone with them… Did you record last week’s episode of “The Mole? I saw half of it. Well, I saw a quarter of it. We should go watch it. Let’s go watch it.”
We both stand up. I am talking to her grandmother for a second when The Monkey punches me on the arm. I stop talking and look at her.
“He stopped talking! I got him to stop talking! I should get a prize. Yay me! Hahahaha. Haaaaaaaaaa. (Beat.) OK, let’s go.”