The Fear of Monkeys - The Best E-Zine on the Web for Politically Conscious WritingThe Proboscis Monkey - Issue Twenty-Two
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The Proboscis Monkey: photo from Charlesjsharp of  Sharp PhotographyThe Proboscis Monkey or long nosed monkey is a reddish brown arboreal Old World monkey that is endemic to the southeast Asian island of Borneo. They also go by the Malay name monyet belanda (Dutch monkey) as Indonesians remarked that the Dutch colonisers often had similarly large bellies and noses. Males have a maximum known weight of 30 kg while Females weigh 7 to 12 kg, with a maximum known mass of 15 kg. The large nose of the male can exceed 10.2 cm in length and hangs lower than the mouth. They live most commonly in coastal areas and along rivers. They favour dipterocarp, mangrove and riverine forests. It is perhaps the most aquatic of the primates and is a fairly good swimmer, capable of swimming up to 20 m underwater and have been known to swim across rivers. They have a long coat; the fur on the back is bright orange, reddish brown, yellowish brown or brick-red. Their face is orange-pink and the male has a red penis with a black scrotum. Both sexes have bulging stomachs that give the monkeys what resembles a pot belly and many of the monkeys' toes are webbed. Females become sexually mature at five years old and copulations tend to last for half a minute with both sexes participating although now always successfully. Perhaps this is because the male will grab the female by the ankles or torso and mount her from behind. It likely doesn't help that when soliciting sexual attention, both sexes will pouted, the males will sometimes vocalize, the females will present their backsides, and mating pairs are sometimes harassed by subadults. Proboscis monkeys eat primarily fruit and leaves, but will also eat flowers, seeds and insects to a lesser extent. Their daily activities consist of resting, traveling, feeding and keeping vigilant. As night approaches, the monkeys move back near the river and forage again. The proboscis monkey is assessed as Endangered and its total population has decreased by more than 50% in the past 36-40 years to 2008 due to ongoing habitat loss and hunting in some areas. The largest remaining populations are found in Kalimantan; there are far fewer in Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah.


Running Parallel


Ela Meyer

He: Jake was always a pretty religious guy.

[He slips an initialled tie around his neck, his right hand clasping the purple silk tightly as he winds the end around twice, loops it through and pulls. When the knot reaches his buttoned-up top button, his back pulls up erect.]

She: Yeah, Becca was too. [He takes three steps until her back is two feet in front of him. He places his finger and thumb on the zip of her dress and pulls it up to the ring of her neck. He lowers his hands and fastens two loose pieces of material together in a double bow across her shoulders.]

He: But he used to be pretty critical of unquestioned values or practices. And look at him now, just another hypocrite.

She: Thankfully, you've never been that sort of man. [He raises his head, regarding her for a second, then positions both hands around her waist, buckling in her dress and wrinkling the cotton canvas. He spins her round to face him and she uncrosses her arms and places her hands on his shoulders.]

He: I should've given him Althusser's stuff on 'Ideological State Apparatuses', with 'hint' scrawled on it in massive letters. [He laughs.] And I've met his parents; he's just acting out and repeating all their rubbish in a slightly different and so-called 'liberated' way.

She: Perhaps he and Becca are too frightened to question

He: It's just repetition after repetition after repetition, giving them some sense of identity which they're afraid to challenge. Ready to go?

She: Sorry, almost there; do I have time to put some lippy on?

He: Not too much though; I don't want to get any on me when I kiss you. [His lips pull back in a smile and he brings his right hand up, snaking it around her neck and pulling her closer.] So I'd better give you one now.

[Their lips come together and interlock, her top lip between his and his bottom lip between hers; then his tongue enters her mouth and she receives it, coiling her tongue around his. They pull apart and he kisses her forehead, her chin and then from her right cheek across her face to her left. He steps back and with his left hand reaches for the two nearly empty glasses on the nearby dressing table. He takes two steps towards her, handing her a glass, and raises his in the air. She follows suit and they bring them together with a ring. She finishes drinking first and


in the moment's pause         she         turns          to          the mirror with three faces on the table. He finishes and looks up.]

He: What are you doing?

She: Oh, erm… just looking. [There is a silence.] How funny that you can only see yourself in one; when I was little, I always tried to see myself in all of them at once. [She laughs. He takes one step towards her, coming up behind her.]

He: Come on, put that stuff on quick or we'll be late.

[She nods her head and turns back to the middle face. His face appears first in the right mirror and then in the left where it remains, whilst she covers her lips with a stick of pale pink. She looks up and sees him watching her in the mirror's middle face. In his raised hand is an invitation to the wedding.]

Ela Meyer lives in the North East of England. Her work has appeared in, amongst other things, Allegro, Cadaverine Magazine and The Journal. Forthcoming works will be featured in Ink Sweat and Tears, Iris Brown Lit Mag and Lavender Review.

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