House Taken Over

Some time ago a gorilla appeared at my door. He wore a long coat and a black hat, and he carried a briefcase in which he kept only bananas. He refused to speak about his past but claimed he needed a place to stay, and that he would not be a bother. I let him in.

That was last November.

I still do not know much about The Gorilla, for that is what he calls himself, except that he likes herbal tea (“I cannot drink coffee because of my elevated blood pressure”) and reading.

polaroid-the-gorilla-eating-banana

The Gorilla eats a banana and thinks, c. July, 2013

Despite this we have held many conversations on many topics and have begun what I believe may be called a friendship. His stay has become permanent. Sometimes, when the evening sky turns dark and I start to hear the crickets outside my window, he reads aloud—to himself, to me, to the world.

Yesterday, I approached The Gorilla about recording these readings.

His initial reaction was, “No,” and hesitation for he is uneasy around computers and the internet, but eventually, after many cups of the rarest herbal teas, I was able to convince him to try, on one condition. “I must always be able to choose what I read,” he said. “I will only read what I like.”

I agreed, and yesterday evening as he sat customarily by his window and began to read, I turned on the microphone…

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