They lay down in the grass as the pale, winter sun tried to reach their faces through the disparate leaves of the tree right above them. One of them, with his back clinging tightly to the tree, held a few blades of the grass between his fingers, turning them. The other was on the ground, one of his arms crossed below his head, and the other raised.
“What are you trying to do?” The first one asked, continuing to spin those blades of grass, now bruised with being turned continually.
“I’m trying to grab something,” the other answered.
“Life,” he said. Then, opened his palm and eclipsed the flare of the sun peeking through the countless leaves on that tree. He closed his palm, as if he were grabbing that flare, and made a fist.
“Did you know, chimpanzees can’t climb branches?”
“What do you mean? Chimpanzees live in trees.”
“Yeah, they do, but they can’t climb branches from the get-go. They try a lot, and most of them continually hit the forest floor. Then, they get up and try again. Some die, of course, or get injuries, but many persist and become the chimpanzees we know as chimpanzees. Adept. Dexterous. I want to be a chimpanzee, man. I mean, it is so easy, just so easy to say that the world is against me, that everything conspires to make sure I couldn’t get what I want. It was the easiest thing to fall down on the leaves, and blame the branch or the tree or even gravity. It was the easiest thing to do. It was so much harder, downright impossible even, to get up and climb that tree again, to believe that the world was working for me. To believe that I would make it, that I would climb my branch, whatever that may be, and that I’d swing from it and go to another. To believe that one day, I’d keep going on and on. It was hard to believe that, but it was worth it, man. I want to grab life by the throat, pull it close and whisper in its ear: I’m not afraid of falling.”
“You’re weird, man. You know that, right?”
“Yes, I’m aware.”
He kept looking up, trying to take his share of the sun after the countless leaves had taken their own.
“I think that’s a good thing”, he smiled.