I loved my chimp with all my clumsy heart, but legally on paper, I “owned” Toby.
Painful but powerful! Existentialist fiction from Cream Scene regular, Mr. Omar King.
Art & Writing by Omar King
TW: existentialism and euthanasia
A Tragic-Comic Episode from Mr. Omar King’s Odyssey of Ding Bats
Some folks owned dogs. Some owned cats. Some even had chickens and cows living in the backyard of their suburban home, and, oddly enough, I owned a monkey. Actually, I loved my chimp with all my clumsy heart, but legally on paper, I “owned” Toby.
I had no idea he was gonna run loose and start attacking people. If only I had paid attention; kept his cage close and locked, perhaps we might have avoided deaths and injuries. A tragedy would have been prevented. Toby would be alive.
I remember wearing a dark blue coat; a dark gray cap to cover my white head; black worn up leather boots; and black mittens to cover my sand papered hands. Jesus, it felt like being stuck in the north pole, in the execution chamber. A big freezer is more like it. I stood behind the veterinarian. He was young. Fella couldn’t have been more than thirty. But the way he presented himself, it felt like he was my grandfather or something.
It’s odd to witness somebody you love so much being put to death. Perhaps, it was the best decision. God only knows what Toby could have done if he hadn’t been caught.
When the execution was over (short, yet emotionally devastating to witness), I asked the young vet if I could have the remains of my dear chimp in a box so I wouldn’t see his corpse when I drove back home. He thought he was funny when he said, “Well. We don’t have boxes. But we sure have bags. Would you like the ‘see through’ or the ‘black plastic?’’’ As if I was shopping at Macy’s. I wanted to rip his throat off. Fucking asshole. I would have preferred to have taken you home in a box, Toby. But the black plastic bag would have to do. I am sorry.
“Black plastic, please.”
“Black plastic it is.”
You might be wondering if I cried or made a fit when I got home.
I laid Toby on the dining room table. Went to the kitchen. Opened the fridge. Got myself a can of beer. Went back to the living room. Sat my ass on the couch and looked out the window, watching cars drive by in the dark. There was an awful silence, I’ll admit, I wanted to cry while viewing the speeding pearls of car lights. It was quite the show.
It reminded me of my days in the circus when I was a young stuntman.
Always pulling stunts for the sake of the show.
That’s where I rescued Toby. That joint burnt down long ago. I still remember the smell of that blazing fire. And the crackling sound it made. And the intense heat I felt from afar. My god it was a thrilling sight to view. It was so thrilling that I crossed into the burning tent and unlocked the cages, one by one. It was like in that final scene of that creepy black and white movie Eyes Without a Face. If you remember that movie, then you might remember that ending where the faceless woman escapes and sets all the dogs loose. I resonate with that movie. Though, my face isn’t peeled off; I can relate to her heart and soul.
About the Artist
Omar King is an artist from California, and he is autistic. He makes digital and physical art pieces, mainly of the physical variety, out of cereal boxes and other cardboard. He finds them to be cheaper than the art materials the stores are selling these days. So, he uses Crayons and markers and cardboard, and combines them all together to make a MASTERPIECE!