Sunday morning, Lisbon. I watch the monkeys walking through the ropes of their zoological prison from my window. The apartment overlooks this park, populated in the afternoon by children who are regulated and controlled by their instructors. Day after day, since I arrived in Lisbon, the ride continues.
It’s not visiting time yet. The zoo workers do their rounds, the monkeys do their rounds. I wonder if they are happy to move from one rope to another, to go around their tiny island. One carries her baby on her back, makes the same random journey. They seem to avoid each other during their not so dizzying walk. They are three huts in which they sometimes rush into, to come out immediately. The monkeys seem to be looking for something, but what…
I, who invent parallels on everything, can’t stop thinking about humans. How many times have I been able to testify to these people who are satisfied with their ropes, their neighborhood, their interests? How many times have I wondered about my own walks, throwing my steps in front of each other pretending never to look back?
When I travel, I walk; I almost prefer to do it alone, because it gives me time to stop and take my time. I think about these monkeys and wonder where my path is going. My only certainty is that I don’t have too many, but often, when I get dizzy, I also try to hold on to the circular strings of what I have learned.
Perhaps these monkeys simply have a beautiful ability to forget. Maybe they are making the same trips again because they have lost their memory. Perhaps this is the case for us, as if the only possible life consists of reinventing, and therefore erasing, what seems terrible to achieve.