Saturday, September 12, 2009

I Sleep With a Monkey


That's the horrible confession which has been eating at my insides for months. I'm not kidding. How many adults do you know who sleep with stuffed animals?

It's partly my ex's fault. She collected stuffed animals, mostly bunnies, though she had a few bears. When we parted ways, she insisted on dividing the collection evenly, leaving me with a moving box full of unpleasant memories. I gave them all to Goodwill. Actually, I found a couple that I had missed when I was packing up to leave Charlotte. They went straight into the dumpster.

A few months before that, I bought my monkey. It was May, and I was out spending my tax refund. I had just bought a few things at Torrid in South Park Mall, and was on my way out, when I came upon a kiosk selling "make your own" stuffed animals, like a knock-off Build-a-Bear Workshop. They were having a sale. I decided I wanted one.

They had several different animals on offer, not just bears and rabbits but assorted barnyard and "jungle" animals. I picked out a monkey, just because I liked the way it looked. The vendor let me choose how much stuffing to fill it with, and offered me a selection of hats and clothes. I thought that was a little much.

On the way home, I remembered having a sock monkey when I was little. Its name was Monkey. Yeah, I was an imaginative child. Anyway, to honor the toy I had when I was younger, and make light of my youthful naming conventions, I christened the little fellow "Mr. Sock". Naming it somehow made it more touchable. I hugged the little thing. It felt good. A few days later I found myself holding it while I tried to fall asleep one morning.

That was two years ago. I've found that I can sleep without Mr. Sock, but I don't like to. It's not like anyone else is clamoring to share my bed.