We May Never Remove Our Masks Around the Monkeys – Arnold B. Cabdriver

‘One of us must remove our mask to lure the monkey.’ 

‘But who of us will lure the monkey?’ 

We drew straws. First the woman in the antelope mask. Next the boy in the elephant mask. The man who made the rounds passing straws wore the mask of the jackdaw.

‘As you can see I’ve made a web of finest chain as thin as a spiders’ web.’ 

He shined a light to the corners. The threads sparkled. 

‘But what if we too are trapped in the net?’ 

He held up a knife. 

‘You all have knives,’ he said. ‘Defend yourselves.’

‘But if we knife the monkey?’

‘We will use him as lure for a second monkey.’ 

‘And if we knife the second monkey?’

‘Of course we will have a third monkey to contend with.’

‘And if the third is knifed?’

‘Knife again.’ 

‘And if the fourth? And the fifth? And the sixth?’

We sweated. 

‘Then, little by little,’ he said, ‘we will have destroyed all anonymity.’ 

Long Beach (Washington, not California) native, Cabdriver takes inspiration from the wildlife around him, the wildlife far below him when he’s out in his boat, and the wildlife he used to see as a child during his short visits to the Oregon Zoo. Cabdriver has been a writer-in-residence at the Sou’wester on fifteen separate occasions. And still nobody remembers him!

Leave a Reply