Short Fuse

monkey
Norm raised his hand feigning respect, “I was just wondering,” he started and hesitated, “I already know the answer, but I want to hear you say it.”

A silver bracelet fell down his forearm with his hand still in the air. He wore a turquoise ring on his middle finger that was as large and obnoxious as his personality.

He continued. “Do you think it is necessary to read poetry in order to write it?”

The instructor also wore silver; hammered half-moons dangled from her ears.

“Yes, you have to read…”

“Wait a minute, I wasn’t finished with my question,” he interrupted the instructor’s soft stream of words.

A snarl started to spread over my face.

The instructor took a deep breath and removed her glasses, a two-step, Norm-deflecting technique to regain her inner peace.

Without waiting for the instructor’s response, he continued. “What I was driving at…”

Norm went on but I could no longer hear him. I did not practice Norm-deflecting techniques. Red filled my eyes and the room went silent. I could only hear the pounding of blood in my head and feel my heart beating in my chest.

Like battle drums. Boom. Boom. Boom. They demanded action.

I leapt from the back row up and over the shared table-desk with the war cry of a wild Borneo monkey.
“Aieeeeeeeeeeeee….”

I landed square on Norm’s fat back and he stopped talking.

“Shut up!” I thought I screamed and shook his head mercilessly.

Later, I learned my words came out as a continuation of the newly acquired Borneo monkey language.

Norm grabbed at his chest as his eyes bulged out and his greasy, worm-lips moved with wordless gasping.

It looked like he was mouthing either, “Get help,” or more likely, “I’ll sue you for this.”

A few minutes later the ambulance arrived and Norm was carried out on a stretcher.

The drumbeat no longer called for battle;it announced victory.

It’s been a few months and I now have a lot of Norm-and-others-like-Norm deflecting techniques to use. The judge won’t like to hear this but even after all of the therapy, medication, and electroshock, I can’t help but to feel like a hero.

A certified, bonafide hero.

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