The Fear of Monkeys - The Best E-Zine on the Web for Politically Conscious Writing The Long-Tailed Macaque - Issue Two
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The Long-tailed Macaque

The Long-tailed Macaque Long-tailed macaques are found in primary, secondary, coastal, mangrove, swamp, and riverine forests in Southern Indochina, Burma, Indonesia, Philippines, and India's Nicobar Islands. These monkeys sport gray to reddish brown body hair, which is lighter on their undersides. The hair on the crown of the head grows into a pointed crest. Male long-tailed macaques have whiskers and mustaches; females have beards. While males grow to between 16 and 25 inches tall, females only reach an average height of 15 to 19 inches. Males weigh approximately 10 to 18 pounds and females 5 to 12 pounds. Long-tailed macaques live in groups of 10 to 48 individuals. Their average lifespan is 37.1 years. Sixty-four percent of the long-tailed macaque's diet consists of fruit. Seeds, buds, leaves, other plant parts, and animals such as insects, frogs, and crabs make up the rest.


K as in



Lately, my dreams feel like memories of a future...

There is no apparent beginning, each sequence opening to me carrying an armload of low-tech weapons - rifles and shotguns - preparing hiding places in bunkered houses, lining cubbyholes with food and ammunition. I do not know, but sense these treasures are stolen from elsewhere, that I have procured them without leaving fingerprints and scurried them home to make us safe. I also think there are others carrying out the same tasks, all over the unrecognizable city where this takes place. These sweating moments characterize the onset of my dreams, besieged but purposeful, my hands deft and unafraid with the guns and explosive materials, as though I have worked with them all my life.

We are finished, then, and take a break on the front steps; my hand resting against his knee as we sit, as though waiting to be caught. And I guess that is what we wait for, because each time we finish, they show up. Police like pitbulls populate these nights, lifting the mouldering dustruffle to look under the bed, peering through gapped floorboards into the basement. I hold my breath lightly, not allowing a sweat to break because that would give *it* away, what it? I am never clear why we are building the bombs, or caching the arms - such is the fog draped over all but the most striking moments.

[I can only imagine this is for a grand and as-yet fabricated cause, perhaps one involving the emancipation of something important or the declaration of some bold statement.

I wish I knew.

Apparently my waking life doesn't inspire in me even a plausible construction of what the cause might be. Sometimes I wonder if this imaginatory world is a map I have not learned to read yet.]

We use false names to the police, but occasionally I slip up and use my real one. My dream-friend looks cross when I do this; he never fucks up the small details. I know better, but even living underground I have trouble giving up the *me* from before. Last night, he was Keith and I wanted to be Jane but in the flustering moment of questions I became Kay instead. Apparently my subconscious conjured alliteration in naming convention - Keith and Kay. A flat name, yes, but with interesting consonant possibilities.

[K as in Kalashnikov; K as in Kiss.]

There are never last names, but the pitbulls don't seem to mind, they are less interested in us than in the house we occupy.

I have no idea how the dream-me remains so outwardly calm when they come to the door, ushering them in as if we have nothing to hide, appearing placid while they dismantle our cupboards one tin at a time. Like a leaflet handed out on a street corner I am quivering at the gutter, the twitch imperceptible before a big gust blows me clear-away. These dreams are less about building, caching, stockpiling - and more about waiting, always on the front step, while they trammel our belongings and shout orders to each other. More to the point: they are about waiting with him, about survival instinct surging between tense bodies.

There is no talking while we wait, afraid to give ourselves away, so I don't know much about him other than grey eyes - a protective talisman in the late afternoon light. We do not run away, or yell out to the neighbours for help, though there is much danger to us should the caches be found. We are perfect waiting, passing support to and fro through glances and light touches to the hand, the back of the neck.

Do we get caught? I am not sure, for it ends there on the steps before the police manage to find the small cracks that might indicate a break in the wall, or reach their hands above visual range in the hallway closet. I suspect we don't, that tears in the wallpaper are overlooked because our home is so obviously shabby and because they don't have dogs to sniff out the explosive powders so carefully concealed in the jars for flour and sugar.

But there is no reason to believe this except that often I find myself back in the same house, with a new armload of provisions; carrying, concealing and waiting as though each time we forget the nights before. If they would catch us, maybe the dreams would end there, or maybe I would know what exactly we keep preparing for.

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