Monkey Temple Run

SwayumbhuThree hundred and sixty five stairs to the top. Three hundred and sixty five stairs to the painted eyes peering down, the curled swirling of the nose. Three hundred and sixty five stairs to the incense wafting, the drums beating, the bells ringing, the prayer wheels turning, the ohm ohm ohm drifting through the air.

My body is wrecked by the stresses of this city. Giardia, cyclospora, pneumonia, bacterial diarrhea and the honk honk honk of the horns, the puff puff puff of exhaust. The expectations. The guilt. They’ve torn through my body sucking the life from my bones, my muscles, my heart pumping blood to fingers and toes.

I’m bouncing back, three hundred and sixty five stairs at a time. A sharp crunch and twist in the side, and my breath huff huff huffs. Halfway up and a rhesus macaque shakes his fist. I’ve interrupted his trade of mischief and thievery, his brothers and sisters and cousins flip leap launch through the trees. Babies grasp at mother’s teats.

Halfway up three hundred and sixty five stairs. Huffing, wheezing, bent over, grasping my side. Another interruption. A strange voice, a challenging question.

“What is life?” he intones.

I’m sorry?

“What is life?” he repeats.

Ahh.. little busy dude.

“What is life?” he presses on.

Seriously? Now is not the time dude.

Questions are finished, time for proclamation.

“Life is suffering.”

You’re telling me bro.

“Life is hellfire. Life is pain. Life is suffering.”

I’m confused. Huffing, wheezing, bent over grasping my side, confused; but right now I’m inclined to agree.

 

photo credit: BJ Graf via photopin cc

 

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