I no longer remember how it started, but a fellow blogger mentioned something about Justin Bieber and his monkey. I responded by suggesting that Bieber and his monkey would make a great prompt for a writing exercise.
Well, damn, if We Drink Because We’re Poets didn’t take the suggestion. Sahm and Papi are making major efforts to give us writers and poets some prompts to keep the creative juices flowing. So, Bieber and his monkey is it. Their first in weekly short story prompts. The beginning of the effort. Given my role in the creation, I felt I had no choice. Although, this is most decidedly not really a short story …
When your monkey spits on you, what do you do?
“Does wu wuv me?”
And the damn monkey spits at you again.
You lock it in a cage.
When your pal Mally the Monkey glares at you and hisses, what do you do?
“Mally, wu wuv me, yes wu do.”
You speak in baby talk.
And the damn monkey spits again.
When your monkey is all that you’ve left and it pulls at your hair and defecates – aka takes a shit – on itself, what do you do?
More importantly is this very small question. Why a monkey?
I think of it this way. Michael Jackson. Bubbles the Monkey. Well, that didn’t turn out so well. Teenage sensation. Heartthrob. Millionaire before you can figure out how many zeroes that involves. Odd behavior. Maybe you want to stay away from the primates. Get yourself a damn gecko. Or a beta. Here’s a novel idea. A cocker spaniel. A house with a white picket fence. A wife and 2.2 children. An album once a year and a tour that follows it.
Better yet, maybe you oughta take care of yourself first. Stop showing up in canary yellow hats, fake glasses, and wifebeater t-shirts. Show a little respect for yourself. Stop playing to the image. Be you. Only you. You don’t need a damn monkey.
You know how it ended for that other guy, right? Children in his bed. A nose that got ever smaller. Death at a ridiculously early age. And years of nothing that approached the creativity and value of his earliest efforts.
Genius is a fragile thing. That said, you actually don’t yet qualify as a genius. But you’re squandering what little bit you have nonetheless. Think about it … squandered genius that doesn’t yet exist. How does that happen?
Well, maybe you were never a genius. Maybe you were never as talented as you thought you were. Maybe all those screaming tweeners didn’t realize you were all glitz and show and emptiness. Nothing more than a packaged, processed bit of Velveeta. Nothing more than fifteen minutes of fame meant to make money for somebody else. The producers. The promotors. The record companies. But, you, just an empty vessel for their profits.
And, years from now, when you sit on the porch of a beat up house in the middle of nowhere, or in the middle of urban hell, or in the middle of nothing, and you look back you’ll realize. Wow, I was Justin f’in Bieber and I had a chance. And I blew it. I failed to bother with the future. I failed to see that fame is a fleeting thing. I believed what people said of me instead of thinking for myself. And I got myself a damn monkey.
That spits on me.
That wuvs me nonetheless.