Returning home after living out of state for many years, I was anxious to see Samantha, my gorilla spirit-guide from my youth, and made the Zoo my first visit. They had tore down the old Animal Shelter across the street and made it part of the parking lot and as I pulled into a parking stall right in front of the zoo I wondered what else might have changed. The front of zoo looked the same as it did 40 years ago and I just stared at it for a minute or two and did a quick flashback to my youth. The first big change I noticed was that now there was an admission charge to commune with nature.
Then, as I passed through the front doors, I found nothing was the same. What use to be a wide-open viewing area with cages lined up on all four sides was now a series of corridor walkways resembling rock and cave-like structures with plants and benches scattered through out. I ventured through the maze towards the backside and listened to the jungle music piped in from overhead speakers.
Then finally, I saw her; she was sitting with her back against the cave-like wall right next to the large Plexiglas display window. She was looking up at something on the opposite wall, near the ceiling, maybe the parrot standing on the tree branch of the hand painted mural of a jungle scene. She had gained some weight over the years and had a potbelly now, but then, so did I. There was a small flat spot right there near the glass and I sat down, right along side of her. She just sat there and starred at that parrot without acknowledging my presence at all. I was just another person coming around to gawk at her, BORING!
She slowly rubbed her index finger back and forth across her chin and focused in deep pensive thought about something, while pondering that parrot on the wall. After a while, I too found deep introspective meditation material from that spot on the wall and we pondered together.
From my pocket, I took out my bag of pipe tobacco and played with it, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw her glance down at it. But, as soon as I looked at her she broke off and went right back to that spot on the wall. So did I, then I got up and strolled over to get a real close look at that spot on the wall. I couldn’t tell if the parrot was landing or just taking off, so I returned to my sitting position next to her without ever glancing at her.
She was looking at me again, I wanted so bad to make eye contact with her and snuck another look. Instantly she jolted her head upward and pointed her jaw and eyes to that spot again. Okay, so did I and I went back to my bag of tobacco and put my fingers in and fumbled with the bag some more. She glanced down at my bag again and became curious. I pulled some tobacco out and let her look at it then pretended to put some in my mouth and chewed, then snuck another glance at her eyes. I made eye contact with her for just a second before she threw her head back up and stared at our parrot again.
She was being aloof with me and not in a subtle way, so I followed her lead and put my head back and stared at that spot too, again. She started to check me out again, as long as I wasn't looking at her, so I gave her a show. While looking at that parrot on the wall, I played around with the bag of tobacco, pulling some out then letting it fall back through my fingers into the bag. I put some more to my mouth and started to chew vigorously. I put the bag right up to the glass and after making sure I was still staring at our spot she leaned to the glass and looked into the bag, I think she wanted some. I reached my fingers in again and pulled out some more tobacco and put it too my mouth again and chewed some more, chomping almost. I was going to make her jealous for being aloof with me. Then I got up and walked to the wall, pretended to study the parrot’s lift off or landing and then I turned and walked away.
I visited the rest of the zoo and returned about 45 minutes later for a revisit and WOW!!! I don't know where she got it, she must have tore her bedding apart, but she was sitting in the middle of what looked like half a bale of hay spread out all around her. In her mouth, she had a long stem of alfalfa, she chewed it profusely making that stem go up and down, and around in circles all the while she just stared at our spot on the wall. I looked down to my puny bag of brown pipe tobacco then back at her lush green grass all around her and just Laughed Out Loud with jealousy. Out done by a gorilla, and I love it.