Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Day with George (Part 3)

Another Friday has come around and after our breakfast at Nicko's, George and I walk down to the zoo. George is very agitated this morning which is not his usual Friday demeanor, but not out of the ordinary for any other day of the week. When he gets like this he walks fast and compulsively runs his hand through his hair which is the color of street slush during morning rush hour. Even though I'm thirty years George's junior, I have trouble keeping up with him when he gets like this.

“I think the Gorilla exhibit opened this week,” I mention to George trying to draw him out of his mood.

“Right.” He responds bluntly.

When we arrive at the zoo, George says he wants to check out the chimps first. He distractedly walks past all the other animals paying them no regard. He's lost in himself and when he does try to speak, it's a struggle for him to get words out because his mind is moving faster then his mouth can relate those thoughts.

George and I take our usual seats on a bench right next to the chimp habitat. Most of the adult chimps are lying around, while a couple of the younger ones wrestle in the grass. George sees Rocco and Rocco sees George, they appear to nod at one another but I quickly dismiss this notion. Rocco walks to the edge of the habitat, sits on the precipice of the cement gorge that divides us and them, and scratches his ears and makes faces. Rocco's body language and the compulsive way he's scratching makes him appear agitated. When I look over at George, I find him rocking slightly and rubbing the tip of his index finger against his knee.

The anxious states of George and Rocco grow and soon George is looking over his shoulder and Rocco is making hostile faces. Soon, George and Rocco are locked in a staring contest that doesn't seem it's going to end anytime soon. Without breaking his gaze, Rocco raises his right arm, extending it in out direction and without provocation, he raises his middle finger at us. I'm stunned. Not really sure if it actually happened. George becomes indignant.

“That little bastard. Who the hell . . .?” George is up off the bench and getting loud. The five or so people around us look confused then start to laugh when they realize what Rocco is doing. The laughter pisses George off so I grab him by the arm and lead him away.

“Why would Rocco do that? I've never been cross with him.” I don't answer George. I pull him along, towards the Gorilla exhibit. George has been waiting months for this exhibit and I'm hoping it will calm him down.

No comments:

Post a Comment