Archie Orchestra was a superstitious ape. His three comrades harangued him for it. They told him, grow up, open your eyes, think about it, get a hold of yourself, use your brain, you must be joking.
Archie Orchestra would not drink with his left hand or look a buttonquail in the eye, he wouldn’t touch yellow flowers or shake hands with strangers. He would turn three times on the spot if he smelt mushrooms cooking, he would bow down low to the bad moon when it rose unexpected and horror red and lit the whole evening in a graze.
Archie Orchestra believed that dreams were real things, like spit or piss or cod liver oil, that there must be a dream organ inside of every animal, a swelling, secreting second brain, leaking puss filled nightmares and syrup clot fantasies. He imagines his ancestors in the jaguar vines breaking their arrow tips into the toxic dream organs of tropical frogs, firing them up at black-billed sicklebills, who would fold up their feathers and fall from the furthest branches entranced in a terminal reverie.
The first night The Troop had arrived in the primate city - when they had kicked the harbour master’s office to ash and splinters and slept on its broken floor - Archie Orchestra had dreamt of the cloud forest. Dreamt he had been dressed in straw and yacht rigging, with a chain wrapped three times around his waist, its links pinching his skin as he padded through the undergrowth. The remainder of the chain stretching off, disappearing through the hornwort and the vinegar flowers, a mile and half in length with an anchor at its end, so tangled in roots and stems and bark and branches that it crawled across the cloud forest, uprooting, ploughing, leaving a soil highway behind it like some nameless long haired animal gradually eating its way in furrows across the world.
Archie Orchestra had walked and walked and walked through his dream. Dragging his anchor behind him. On his way he had passed other apes walking in different directions, some approaching him, some cutting across his path, each and every one buckled to an anchor, all of them sweat bristled and thunder delirious, drawing ploughed floundering lines across the forest like tired surgeons marking out in ink where their incisions are going to be.
At one point he reached the shores of the lake where he was born. Archie Orchestra sank into the water as though he was lowering himself into a bath. He shuffled across the lake bed, through the jelly weeds and razor oysters, piranhas snapping at him, carrying away his straw clothes, becoming trapped between the links of his chains and biting at his fur in a panic. His anchor ground through the silt, stirring up the settled dead and the greedy living. His gorilla eyes blurred with the dead lake blind effort of being. He walked for so long under water that he forgot what it was like above the surface, he forgot the air, the dry breeze. The sun was a rubber star that floated in the water. Its lights were blinding weeds that sunk with all the weight of their brightness.