Recital by Author
  Art by John Barbato
'My Mommies'  2006 John Barbato
Wire Monkey


New York
Somewhere in the 80's

Ok. Here's the story about the wire monkey.

They put a baby monkey in a cage with a stuffed, comfy, cozy fake mommy monkey that has a bottle of milk attached to it. The baby drinks the milk and clings to the stuffed mommy monkey.

Cling is an operative word here. It's not an ordinary word you use every day. You may do it every day, like I cling to my coffee when it's early in the morning after a late night at the bar, but you don't say, "I cling to my coffee." Here they say it. The baby monkey clings. Grabs, clutches, fucking holds onto like it's about to die.

OK. Then they put the baby monkey in a cage that has a wire mommy monkey. The wire mommy monkey's got a bottle of milk too. And the baby monkey does the same thing. It clings and it drinks.

But see then they put the baby monkey in a cage with the two fake mommy monkeys. The stuffed one and the wire one. Only this time, just the wire mommy's got the milk bottle. So what does that little baby monkey do? It clings to the stuffed, comfy, cozy mommy and then leans over to the wire mommy to drink.

OK. When the City College evening section Psycho 101 teacher told us this, the whole class just busted out laughing. Because like who the fuck ever gets to have two monkeys?