I walked down the path bordered by miniature sections of logs (for which there is probably a proper name but not being a gardener or groundsman I wouldn’t have a clue) and the smell of body odour greeted me. I had not long eaten my cheese and onion sandwiches - always on the lookout for ways of saving money – and that bitter, acrid smell of the onion on my breath and odour hanging in the air path combined and failed to separate again in my nostrils serving as an unwelcome reminder of our fundamental similarities.
There was a crowd up ahead, the same one I had been trailing all morning. I had tried to shake them off, going one way and then the next but the paths all seem to converge into one as if we were stationary on a moving conveyor belt. I had tried delaying my progress by sitting down on one of the many benches and pretended to read my psychology textbook. It went everywhere with me which was silly really because it weighed a ton but I think that maybe I was hoping that its contents might migrate into my head by osmosis through the canvas of my shoulder bag.
Anyway, I got as far as the crowd ahead and stood towards the back. I’m fairly tall, I suppose, so it was quite easy to see through the glass above the crowd. A disinterested child rammed my ankles with the wheels of a pushchair, another wiped its ice cream on my trousers. At least ten faces were pressed up against that glass to the amusement of the gorilla inside.
I left the zoo with an empty bag. I had thrown my book onto the netted roof and the gorilla had gone up to pull it through.