My girlfriend recently opened a Shoppe. It’s quaint, eclectic and most of all fabulous. It has always been her dream and now it is her reality. It’s the type of shop you go in, look around a hundred times and still discover new items. On my most recent trip I found my monkey. It was on a coffee table behind a vase. I think he was hiding. There was something about him that instantly caught my attention. He’s carved out of dark mahogany wood which happens to me my favorite; I love the richness in color. He’s in a sitting position but his back is hunched. There is a smooth pouch on his lap. It reminds me of a kangaroo’s pouch. One arm falls to his side and circles around the bottom, no hand is visible. The design of the piece is fluent so you don’t really miss the hand. The other arm curves into the pouch as if the monkey is reaching inside for something. His face is serene. Eyes are closed, mouth is relaxed and he appears as if he is meditating. “I love him,” I called out to my friend. I held him for a moment and thought about where I would put him, “I just don’t know where I would put him.” I proceeded to say.  My girlfriend’s mother was standing behind the counter and laughed when I said this. “If you really love something you will find a place to put it.” Her words stuck with me. Instead of setting the monkey down, I kept him with me as I browsed.  I ended up purchasing him and knew the mother was right. I would find him a perfect spot. On the drive home I chatted with my sister-in-law about my monkey. “I think monkeys symbolize something,” I said. We both racked our brains but couldn’t recall what, if anything, they represented.  It was when I got home and spoke to my older sister the light bulb came on. I was so excited to show her my monkey and see what she thought. She held him for a second and studied him a bit. She handed him back and asked “What, do you have a monkey on your back?”  It was in that moment I knew why I was drawn to him. I recently quit smoking, which was no easy feat. I have always considered it my demon. I have heard other’s refer to the addiction as having a monkey on your back.  Aha, I was taking the monkey off of my back and setting him on the table to act as my reminder. I found him a new spot. I was still curious to know what a monkey symbolized. I searched until I found. A monkey symbolizes benevolence or charity and can ward off evil spirits. How perfect, my monkey is no longer my demon but the very thing that scares the demon away. There will be days I want to give in to my craving but hopefully my monkey sitting upon my coffee table will remind me of the great deal of time I spent trying to get him off of my back. It would be silly to ask him to jump back on and besides now he gives my home some character.  

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