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tearing the rag off the bush again
The Gorilla My Motor PDF E-mail

“What do you mean my gorilla motor?” Sanji asks.

“It’s what it sounds like, my motor is my gorilla.” Nan smugly replies. He twists some fuzzy pills that have formed around the waist of his khaki sweater and stirs some non dairy creamer into designer coffee. “The gorilla makes the wheels go round and I adjust the speed and steer.”

“That doesn’t make any sense, ha-how does he make the wheels turn about and where is he supposed to fit?” Sanji chuckles over chai tea steam.

“First it’s she, males are too difficult, they’d probably maul you and wear you as a warning to other males. Second, how does your motor make your wheels turn? You put gas in your tank and turn the key, if that doesn’t work you see a mechanic. Well, mine is the same way only I don’t need gas or mechanics, only routine but inexpensive visits to a vet, that’s all.” Nan politely nods to a fellow patron who has obviously found interest in their private conversation. “Oh, and you know how damn oversized vehicles are today. Enough to move the contents of a small apartment but you only see one person in them. “


“So there’s plenty room under the hood for a gorilla and a crank when you strip away all the superfluous hoses and wires.” Nan sips.

“Alright, you’re not getting my point. It doesn’t make sense because you’re referring to what I believe is a living creature an—”

“Right, as your—” Sanji says annoyed at Nan’s interruption.

“Motor. Engine. Source of velocitation.” Nan interjects, recognizing Sanji’s aversion to interruption.

“But how the hell do you keep it going? I mean gorillas aren’t a common commodity and they have to eat don’t they?” Sanji holds up his steaming paper cup as visual aid. “And where does it crap?”

Nan laughs and quickly answers, “Oh, she eats a lot but there’s a manufactured cereal, like dried dog food that we order from a dealer. It’s quite cheap though. “ He sips dogmatically and adds, “And for the crap, there’s a large pen she stays in at night so she evacuates in a fresh area and moves on. The leavings are dissolved much faster than most, they usually disappear completely in a few days.”

Nan lifts his tea to lips but abruptly hesitates and adds, “And there’s very little smell, if any.” He slurps satisfactorily.

“You ridiculous bastard, I don’t believe you for a second. Even if you have a giant pen in your yard full of dissolving gorilla feces and monkey cereal, I don’t believe you can consistently depend on a wild animal that could, admittedly, bludgeon you to death with its massive, freakishly human hands for safe dependable transportation.” Annoyed, Sanji sets down his cup.

“And why not? It’s safer then depending on thousands of small explosions to push your car down the road. And if I get in an accident there’s no worry of the gorilla spilling all over and catching on fire.” Nan futilely wipes at a damp spot on the front of his starchy shirt.

“Right,” Sanji laughs, “when ever I’m driving I’m constantly worried about burning in a pile of petrol on the side of the road. That and gorilla attacks are the two things that most concern me about highway safety.”

“There’s no need to be rude, or is that jealousy?”

“It’s most certainly not jealousy, and stop smiling I’m not being defensive. You’ve no reason to be smug, all you have is a car whose engine is capable of killing you quickly and unexpectedly.” Sanji blushes as he feels his voice rise.

“That’s exactly my point!So can yours, every stroke of the engine, every curve or tap of the brakes could kill you.”

“I don’t think so—,” open mouthed and mid sentence Sanji is again interrupted.

“Think about it.” Nan holds out his hands and gently pushes the air utilizing the universal sign urging Sanji to calm down and says, “Thousands, millions of people at any given time are heaving two tons of steel down a four meter wide tarmac at ferocious speeds.” Sanji begins to form a word with his lips but Nan adds, “And on top of that half are drunk or talking to someone else on the phone, or putting on make up or punishing their children. Almost none are cognizant or respectful of human life enough to handle the responsibility.”

“I’ll agree with you there but in all honesty do you really use a gorilla to power your auto?” Sanji asks.

“Yes, I do.” Nan raises the cooling cup to his lips, then away, almost spilling some of the contents on the sticky formica table. “The only problem is that sometimes if I tap the brakes too hard there’ll be a horrendous racket from under the bonnet, once in a while that’ll make her stall but that is the only possible inconvenience I can think of.”

The two debate the details and logistics of Nan’s gorilla car for a few more minutes and watch people pay for their hot drinks. From the perspective of the tall sticky table neither of the two could see a large tan sport utility truck back into one an a half available parking spots, leaving the driver of a small green compact only inches to open the door.

Silence now between Sanji and Nan. The awkward seconds are punctuated by Nan’s last slurp of cold fluid and Sanji’s simultaneous watch glance. Without speaking or making eye contact the two know it’s time to leave. Satisfied his transportation is justified Nan gives Sanji and airy smile as he holds the smudged glass door open for his friend. Outside Sanji pushes a button on his key chain and a grey four door car winces and starts.

Sanji is lost in the possibility of a gorilla motor and quietly stretching for a flaw in its concept and Nan is admiring the inefficiency of the grey car. Both are coming closer to a large tan truck and one of them notices someone moving on the other side. He’s making a remark about how tall the truck is when a short blonde girl about nineteen and a short blonde boy, sameish age, come around the chest high chrome bumper.

“Nan Patel? Are you Nan Patel?” The blonder one asks.

Sanji laughs because he didn’t see which one spoke but he could easily imagine the voice coming from either. “Do you know these people?” Sanji asks Nan.

“I don’t thinks so, who are you? And how do you know my name?”

“Gorilla cars are slavery!How would you like to be chained to a treadmill and have to run whenever like someone wanted you to?” The girl says, and Sanji links the earlier voice to her.

“Hey why doesn’t your friend say anything?” Nan asks, looking at the boy.

“This isn’t his problem—”

“What’s that smell? It smells like petrol.” Nan looks at Sanji like he’s to blame for driving a primitive gas powered car. Sanji rolls his eyes and grabs the key to get into his car between his left thumb and pointer. Sanji and Nan walk away.

They’re about twenty feet away from the awkward blondes and over half way to Sanji’s car when the girl yells, “We set it free you know,” in a strange self accomplished way.

“I wonder what she means,” Sanji says to Nan over the roof of the grey car.

Nan nervously gets into the car and buckles in silence. Blocks pass for what seems to be miles from Nan’s perspective but within three or four minutes he can see his house, and intact gorilla pen, and garage, and, his eyes dry and his hands weaken, a burned up skeleton of a car with melted gears and sunken headlights.

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