Flashback!

Flashback!

10 December
 
Spent most of the day avoiding the neighbours while collecting the dismembered remains of various festive light up shite – and burying it in the garden… Couldn’t find all the complete bits of anything. Don’t know what The Monkey has done with all the other bits. I will need to check around the house…
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And so it becomes clear. Now, on the roof of my house, is the nightmare abomination of The Monkey’s fevered mind. Like some Frankenstein movie with tinsel, the hybrid creature that used to be the neighbours Xmas decorations bestrides the ridge of the roof – reindeer head twisting from side to side on a fat Santa’s body that convulses as the pistons of the Christmas train pump in and out of where its arms and legs used to be, and on its back two enormous wings from a Christmas angel flap feebly. Somehow, he has managed to wire the thing together so that it moves and lights up and shrieks what I can only imagine is supposed to be God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Like some demon raised from hell to shit on Christmas it wails into the dying light while The Monkey sits in the living room watching Man V Food… 
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11 December
 
Finally managed to get the last of The Monkey’s Christmas gift to the world off the roof this morning. Fortunately, he had used the Velux windows in the loft to get it onto the roof so at least I didn’t have to get the ladders out. He seemed pretty chilled about the destruction of his project – I think he had proved a point of some sort.
 
Got an appointment with the hypnotist tomorrow, maybe we can get to the bottom of The Monkey’s past lives… Or at least calm him down a bit.
 
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12 December
 
Very interesting… While I sat in the waiting room the hypnotherapist (got told off for calling him a hypnotist) did the business on The Monkey and says that he is convinced that The Monkey is telling the truth about having had previous lives, or at least he honestly believes that he has lived before. He described him as “the living embodiment of chaos” (I could have told him that for nothing), and said that therefore he is not going to behave any time soon and I am just going to have to get used to it – he looked a bit scared and said he really didn’t want to repeat some of the things that The Monkey had said while he was in the hypnotic trance. But he did say that the most prominent ‘life’ seemed to be related to the Vietnam war and a US soldier, so at least that confirms what The Monkey has been saying. He also said that there is something else underlying the memories that kept coming to the surface in flashes – that was when he started to suggest that we maybe ought to see an exorcist… Shame he doesn’t record the sessions, something about client confidentiality, would have made an interesting listen… When he came out The Monkey said that the hypnotherapist had probably touched him up while he was under ‘the influence’ as he called it and wandered off muttering about ‘fucking hippies’… 
 
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13 December

I always get people asking me how I have ended up living with The Monkey… Well here goes…

About eighteen months ago I split with my girlfriend – irreconcilable differences apparently – and I ended up in Amsterdam with a bunch of mates, partially to help me get over it and partially because I could. After a week the other guys headed home a bit broken and I stayed on feeling that I wasn’t quite over it. Anyway, one night I was in a heavy metal bar along one of the canals in the red-light district and I spotted this dude with a monkey. The place was full of bikers and head cases, but everyone was giving the dude and his monkey a wide birth. I thought I was tripping a bit too much as they seemed to be talking, dude and monkey, and I got the feeling they were looking at me. So, paranoia won, and I left the bar.

I headed for a little Arabic looking coffee shop on one of the bridges back towards the main square and settled myself in for the evening. After about half an hour in walks dude and monkey and without a second glance they come and sit next to me. As you can imagine I am more than a little freaked out by this. The dude leans over and stares at me in a not too friendly manner and the monkey sticks a big old cigar in his mouth and lights it with a Zippo lighter he gets from a little bag slung around his shoulders. After what seemed like forever the dude asks me if I want to play a game. ‘What sort of game’ I ask him – not really wanting to know the answer. ‘Othello’ he says and from a pocket of his long coat he produces the plastic board and a draw string bag containing the black/white counters. I was always pretty good at Othello and I reckon that even toasted I can take him, so I say okay. ‘Let’s make it interesting’ he says and I’m thinking ‘I’m off my tits in a coffee shop in the Dam about to play Othello with a sinister looking dude who has a cigar smoking monkey with him. How much more interesting can it get?!’. So instead of saying that I just stupidly say ‘okay’. At this he smiles the sort of smile that I imagine sharks would smile if they found a sinking life raft full of puppies and kittens and says ‘Winner gets The Monkey’.

Well I’m a bit taken aback by this – I like monkeys but I wasn’t expecting to get one, and what does he gain? So I ask him what I have to give him if I lose, ‘Nothing, I will keep the monkey’ he says. I am not at all sure what con trick is going on here, but my messed-up brain just keeps going ‘Yay, a monkey!’ So we start to play.

It’s a very intense game and he is very good and trying very hard which makes me even more convinced that I am being set up for some forfeit I have no idea about. But eventually I win and he sits back on his stool with a strange smile on his face and it’s then that I notice that the monkey hasn’t moved during the whole game and his cigar has burnt right down almost to his lips. The dude packed away the Othello board and counters and put them back into his coat pocket then he stretched and said ‘I need a piss’ and got up and went into the bathroom at the back of the coffee shop. The monkey had lit another cigar and clamped it between his teeth and was watching me with those little black eyes. An hour passed and the dude never came back – I checked the bathroom and there was no one there – he just never came back. I looked at the monkey and had a giggling fit, ‘I will call you Kong’ I announced, feeling very pleased at the irony of the name, and then the monkey spoke to me for the first time ‘The fuck you will’ was all he said…
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So, there I was in Amsterdam with a monkey and I’m thinking to myself ‘How the hell am I going to get home with a monkey?’. I had gone over on the ferry so I figured if I got The Monkey to hide in my bag I could get him onto the ferry and if I upgraded to a cabin he could stay in there until we reached England… Well The Monkey told me in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t getting in any fucking bag or staying in a cabin for the whole of the crossing. He said to just get him a ticket and everything would be fine. What about quarantine I wanted to know? But he said he wasn’t waiting around for me to get out of quarantine so I would just have to make an effort to not look like I had anything catching!
 
With great misgivings we got to the ferry terminal and I brought a ticket for The Monkey – no one batted an eyelid much to my surprise and we boarded the ferry. During the crossing we sat in the bar and I had a few beers while The Monkey drank Jack Daniels and then went out on deck for a cigar. I watched him as he perched on the handrail and looked out to sea, and at that moment nothing seemed strange about the whole experience at all. When he came back in he was a bit wobbly from the Jack and headed off down the ship. I let him go because all of a sudden it seemed totally normal. A couple of minutes later he came bolting back up the ferry to tell me he had arranged me a fight with a truck driver…
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When we got back to the UK we got to the train station and following a couple of changes we ended up on the Paddington to Penzance train, me with a black eye and split lip from my brawl with the truck driver (although I did win following the impromptu use of a food tray as a guillotine – not my finest moment, but I did get approving looks from The Monkey and he didn’t try to instigate violence for the rest of the trip). So, in the five-hour journey I decided to ask The Monkey a few questions about his past.
 
Seems he had spent all his early years on a merchant sea vessel doing the rounds of Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand etc. Apparently the dude in the long coat had been given The Monkey by a Buddhist monk when The Monkey was a baby and told to look after him and being a merchant seaman it was on board ship that The Monkey ended up. Strange things had started to happen on board. Crew members disappeared, strange lights appeared in the sea, a mixed box of Pot Noodles turned out to be all chicken flavour…
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And then they had been attacked by pirates…
 
The waters around Indonesia is rife with them and they had attacked the ship at dawn in the Strait of Malacca. The Monkey said that the ship had fallen quickly and that him and the long coat dude had ended up cornered in one of the cargo holds. The pirates found them, and The Monkey told them to go fuck themselves while brandishing a knife he had taken to carrying. All of a sudden the atmosphere had changed and the pirates had started to back away jabbering in their local dialect. Before long the pirate’s cigar smoking shaman was down in the hold staring at The Monkey. The Monkey walked straight up to the shaman and took the cigar from between his lips and put it between his own. The shaman had, in the Monkey’s words, gone all big eyed and twitchy and then said in Portuguese that The Monkey was ‘the Ever Changing One’ (long coat dude had translated afterwards) and then he had gathered together all the pirates and they had left the ship at breakneck speed.
 
The next few years had been spent on various ships, but they were not able to settle anywhere as the strange goings on continued and eventually the long coated dude couldn’t cope anymore. At some point in the Java Sea, he wasn’t quite sure when, The Monkey (like Skynet) had started to become self-aware and he realised that he needed to be somewhere else. When they had reached the next major port, they had signed on to a ship heading for Amsterdam and that was where my part in the story began.
 
I asked The Monkey why they had chosen me, and he just said that I looked like I was up for anything and that I was so stoned I was an easy catch…

As I write this The Monkey is singing along to Brixton Briefcase at the top of his lungs. He hasn’t got a bad voice…
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14 December
 
Good news! The Monkeys bid for the JCB on eBay didn’t win – phew! He seems a bit grumpy about it and I have just caught him checking out armoured cars. I’m slightly conflicted, I like military vehicles as much as the next man, but I think it is time to change my eBay password…  
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15 December
 
The Monkey is watching Apocalypse Now again. He has always claimed that he was in Nam, which I have always argued was completely unfeasible, but since his regression session the other day I am beginning to wonder. He does get a strange, faraway look in his eyes when he watches the film as well and can become quite agitated. One time after watching it he roared around Morrisons in a trolley, singing the Ride of the Valkyries and throwing frozen fish fingers at other shoppers… Why do I always get the blame?  

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