I Told You We Had Monkeys

 “I told you we had monkeys. The one in the overalls was quite the asshole.”

Lucy tosses her abundant, long dark curls over one shoulder and sucks on a tequila as the sun sets behind her. 

Lucy is my Jazz Age friend. It’s 2015, but I could swear it’s a century ago where our lives intersect. She has that effect, her energy makes me wake up in the middle of the night and wonder what year it is, wonder if perhaps I’ve just been confused all this time about the circumference of my real life. My girl lives like a BFF of Gatsby.

Lucy takes the mundane out of everything. Wrings it out until nary a drop of dull can even be recalled. She was in a movie with Alan Alda. She dresses up like a land shark and drives around town in a convertible or on a bicycle. (You simply must see a shark riding a bicycle, it’s to die for.) She saves old pictures and old friends. She has an oil portrait of herself with her mother painted by a man who painted the Queen of England.

This is all Gospel truth.

Lucy has tattoos. 
Lucy is not married. 
Lucy has a long-time lover and a house in Florida entirely conceived as a movie set, at least to my eyes. 
Lucy writes about things like squid lips.
Lucy has an elusive sadness.

“The one is overalls, is he the one that tore up your dad's office?” Someone asks this as if it’s the most normal question in the world.

“The mofo that destroyed Dad’s office was Herman,” Lucy replies. “Dad even had a little steel hardhat made for him.” 

The family was big in the steel industry. Tiny custom monkey hats.

“He would only let Dad bathe him,” she says, the anger thin but there.

Herman clearly was an ungrateful bastard. I suppose even the best families have at least one. He could have had a real legacy.

“Anyway, I told you we had monkeys.”

Elizabeth Gaucher earned her MFA in Creative Writing from West Virginia Wesleyan College. She lives with her family in Middlebury, Vermont. www.elizabethgaucher.com.