we had no children,
Or dogs or cats
upon to lavish
In later years,
were told ’twas natural,
Our love turned
in a fiberfill direction.
No corncob pipe,
or eyes made out of coal,
But soft brown fur,
and polyester soul.
That one was Monk;
His friend, his partner, Roo,
Unlike him in most every way, it seems,
Unlike as well,
all other roos,
For he was as to real roos
as daydreams are to dreams.
he had four tiny hooves instead of feet;
It’s llamas more than roos
there that they meet.
Before my thirty-year marriage to the perfect man, my longest previous relationship had been a three-year co-living arrangement with an imperfect man who did NOT hate me
(Simple math: child of abuse stays ten times longer with the man who despises her than the one who does not. 🙂 )
We never discussed “where the relationship was going”, or, I think, ever thought about it. We simply lived together, easily and comfortably.
He and I had very little in common, but he had a big, sexy, furry Teddy Bear chest, and he kissed and made love in a comfortable Teddy Bear way, and he listened to me natter on and on as I do just like your favorite Teddy Bear would patiently do.
What we DID have in common was a joyful, childlike sense of fun. We enjoyed teasing and surprising each other in small ways–a characteristic I believe that very few men possess, and one which I miss terribly.
He once left a Christmas card for me with a drawing of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Pig, implying, for some ridiculous reason, that I was a tad over-indulgent when it came to pecan pie. Hmph!
Here is a birthday note I left once for him:
“From a precious piglet who desires only to kiss your trotters and wallow joyously with you in the sacred squishy element.” (For Pournelle/Niven fans, when I later read “Footfall“, you can imagine the kick I got : ) )
I don’t remember how or where Monk and Roo entered our lives, but they became the central focus of our play.
Here they are as I found them once upon first walking in the door after an extended business trip:
Here they are, along with some friends, in their ’32 Ford Roadster (constructed by yours truly):
Over time, because of the life we gave to the two of them, our Pinocchio pals became almost real, live boys to the the two of us.
Here is Monk, in his daring persona as the Flying Ace Ape:
Despite Monk’s name and flying skills, though, Roo always seemed to get up to more monkey business. He was more adventuresome–and more accident-prone. Here he is one Christmas after he took a serious spill and injured one of his flocked papier mache ears. Simultaneously, the poor thing was suffering from a dreadful head cold–what a way to celebrate Christmas!
Here he is exploring the seven seas:
And here, he does a different sort of exploring, showing his sensitive side:
Monk, with his more conservative bent, plodded along solidly, much as my then-boyfriend, an auditor and aspiring CPA. Monk even subscribed to his own accounting magazine:
It had articles of interest only to those fascinated by laundry lists and legume tallies:
My relationship with the Teddy Bear ended rather suddenly one December day. I was standing on the hood of his Pontiac Firebird, my backside facing its windshield, feet spread, body bent in two, whacking away between my knees at the ice on that windshield with the scraper.
I straightened up, slid off, crunched my way indoors, and announced “I’ve had it. I’m moving to southern California. You may come or you may stay.”
He decided to stay.
I phoned a headhunter (recruiter) that same morning, and two hours later had eight interviews lined up in Los Angeles for a two-day slot the following week (I was a computer programmer: easy employment).
Custody would have to be decided for Monk and Roo. I think this picture shows what they meant to both of us:
I was desperate to have Monk. At the same time, I knew that my heart was not hurting. His was. My emotional investment had long departed for reasons I may blog about someday.
I let the Teddy Bear keep Monk.
Roo travelled with me on my interview journey. Here he is enjoying his first Los Angeles Fatburger:
I moved to L.A. thirty-odd years ago, and Roo has shared my various homes ever since–sometimes out, sometimes packed away.
You would think, me being a big girl and all, that I would have long ago put away all memories of Monk. But he was so cute! There was something so friendly about his little, big-eyed face surrounded by its snow-monkey ruff. Plus, I put quite a bit of effort into sewing his little Ohio State letter jacket!
But I guess, what I truly miss is the playfulness and spirit of cameraderie that came from tiny toys, invested with personality by we toy-appreciative giants.
When I look at the old photos now, I do feel partly guilty: That as an ugly American, I spent money on toys for me when children had no toys and in fact, no food.
But I honestly feel more strongly great happiness and gratefulness for the pleasure these little bits of nothing brought me then, and still bring me now when I look at the photos.
How could anyone look at these next two pictures and not feel that they represent the spirit of Christmas joy?:
Merry Christmas, Everyone!
The funniest note the Teddy Bear ever left me that was purportedly from Monk and/or Roo read:
To : Monk
Call me. You know where. Call when you can talk.
It took me a good ten seconds to get it. I laughed at least that long. I still laugh. “Call when you can talk.” Ha ha ha!!