Ape 1 and Ape 2
Two grimy apes sat at the edge of the cliff, throwing bananas into it. One ape was beautiful and the other ape was slightly less beautiful. They were wasting food because they were afraid of life and because it was there. There in the form of a tall, brown tree bursting with half-rotten bananas, which bent down to meet them, almost a companion.
Ape 1 said to Ape 2, “Isn’t it a shame that we don’t have more bananas?”
“Yes,” said Ape 2.
The sky above them was a peerless azure. They didn’t love anyone. They didn’t like anyone. They were pure apes, thinking about themselves and their clitorises. Even when they hated themselves, they liked their clitorises. It gave them an air of mystery amongst the older male apes in the village.
They were not concerned with those apes. They wanted the younger male apes, the ones who didn’t know who they were. The ones they could test themselves upon.
“It’s possible your Jungian play wasn’t good,” said Ape 2. “Maybe that’s why we don’t have more bananas.”
“I did the best I could,” said Ape 1. “Maybe the problem was the wrong audience.”
“Us, the older male apes, the younger male apes, our mothers, the bananas, the birds, the grass, the sky,” said Ape 2. “These are all the beings there are in the world. If they don’t like it, that’s it.”
Ape 1 did not agree. Ape 1 thought there might be more. Ape 1 was right but had no way of finding it out. It was maladaptive of Ape 1 to think this correct thought and to base things upon it. Nonetheless, she did.
“Write a play about this shivering air,” said Ape 2. “Write a play about these bananas. This is all there is, throwing bananas off a cliff, but there is an elegance to that. Be the Elena Ferrante you want to see in the world. Stop trying to be Anatole France.”
Ape 1 wanted to be Anatole France. She hated Ape 2. She would burn the banana tree down, one of these days.
Marie Biondolillo is a Portland-based writer whose fiction has been published by The Toast, Points in Case, Beacon Quarterly and The Wild Word. Her TV pilot “Guess It Just Goes to Show” was a 2018 CineStory Original Comedy finalist. Follow her on Twitter at @chestnutclub.
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