The Monkey Women
They called themselves the Monkey Women and I couldn’t have agreed more. True, their tiny bodies were exquisitely proportioned, but no competition for my English beauty looks, lanky, snowy translucent skin, clear light eyes, sunny hair.
My self confidence got a little shaky though when my husband for the third night in a row wanted to see them perform the Balinese Water Dance. This same husband who would not dance or go to the ballet, and who I had dragged to see the Monkey Women 3 nights earlier, same husband who hated doing the same thing twice, often hated to do anything once unless it involved a couch, a tv, and a Cognac.
My anxiety over the rapidly changing situation made me scream sharply and we got into a loud and disorganized fight. The Canadians and Americans on either side of us in the hotel must have been mightily entertained as I went on about Swan Lake and The Thin Man movies. We never got to the core of the matter in this fight; that John was dying to sleep with a dark and miniaturized woman and that I looked like a giant paste pie by comparison. I couldn’t compete any more than if John’s appetite had turned to men.
I left him the next day; he’d gone to the Water Dance that night and hadn’t returned until early the next morning.
We made frosty plans to meet up in Hong Kong in two weeks and I’d actually waited there an extra 3 days hoping he’d show up. Women can be as dumb as men.
Six months later I got a divorce back in England, but it will be years before I recover myself. I had always put such faith in my height. Now more than ever I talked over the heads of short women at cocktail parties and business meetings, but I never took them for granted again.