Sanzo is a title and not a name.
When it comes out of the lips of the perverted kappa it sounds like a joke. When it comes out of the dead man’s lips it sounds like an admonishment. They don’t need to say your name at all, most times. You’re all so close-knit in the way that only a man dead on the inside can be, so the flicker of a glance is all the communication that needs to occur in order for things to get done. Getting things done usually involves a lot of shooting and swearing, and that’s fine, by all means.
The monkey, however, says your title like it’s the truth of the world and he says it with ferocity, as if saying it with frequency and volume and something akin to desperation will make Genjyo Sanzo solid and there and someone to care for.
And there’s something about those eyes, too luminescent and gold, one look, and you know.
You know, that given the chance, he could swallow you whole.
It’s on the cold winter days that you hate the world the most.
This is why you like to get drunk. This is why the world is hanging, tilted; you’re running on a train of thoughts that is going nowhere in particular and getting there fast with each drop that slides down your throat.
Winter means the wet season, and the wet season means rain. If rain means anything, it means long nights smoking and drinking. If the amount of money that you burn through in order to feed the monkey isn’t putting a dent in your account, the cost of rainy nights is.
If life is like anything, it’s like a long night of rain, and cussin’, and smokin’, and drinkin’.
This is a lifestyle you’ve been following, a path to righteousness that is better than any Eight Steps because this only takes two. If alcohol and cigarettes don’t send you to a state of Nirvana, you think, then you could always do penance in your next life.
It’s a philosophical thought that you toss away after you finish the first case of cheap liquor and run out of smokes. The world is unfair and you hate it a bit, but you really don’t give a shit most of the time and that’s fine. No one asked your opinion, anyway.
Besides the festering memories of old rainy nights that haunt you in your sleep, there are always other minor rocks in the road of life that jar you a bit.
Firstly, you weren’t born to be nagged at. The monks, for one, seem to take the idea that their leader partakes of liquor very badly. Cho Hakkai, who you at some point killed and who came back to life despite this, has been sending you little letters asking if you are properly taking care of yourself and of Goku.
Secondly, you do not care for things. Ever. The idiot monkey -- who you were definitely not responsible for at all, who took up his own separate column of annoyances, who had drooled into your lap after falling asleep trying to read the newspaper with you last night -- was by far the largest freaking slab of rock in your proverbial path.
On rainy nights the stupid monkey tracks in mud and wet into the temple and is, more often than not, locked out of the kitchen, the cellar, and the pantry. More often than not, the monkey ends up in your room, indignant and bored, and sniffs through all your stuff, steps on your paper airplanes, and gets muddy footprints all over your sheets. He won’t leave you along, even when you shoot at him, or hit him with the fan, or threaten to beat him within an inch of his life. More often than not he’s asleep in your bed in the morning, as if he belongs there, and you aren’t but you’ve made quite a mountain of ash and cigarette butts.
The only reason you haven’t shot him yet out of annoyance is because he pisses off the monks and if there’s anything that you can do to make living in a monastery, with all it’s ass-kissing and idiotic self-righteousness, any more bearable, it is to piss off a bunch of up-tight assholes who wear sheets as clothing.
And on the subject, you were not meant for a life of contemplation; you can’t even string together a linear thought, this is probably because you’re drunk, but then again... most of the time you can’t even get through the down section of the crosswords. That’s ok, though, because most of the time the monkey is screeching in your ear about sweets and, fuck it, you don’t know a four-letter word for severe adoration and you doubt that being the local religious leader involves knowing such trivialities.
The crossword puzzle is really pissing you off, though, because you’ve been putting “fuck” in a hundred thousand times and it still doesn’t fit. By now you’re in something of a drunken haze and you’ve been meandering down a road of thoughts that goes nowhere in particular. You try fitting “Goku” in...
But, you always knew that the monkey was a bum deal.
No one who ever sees Goku as Son Goku ever forgets what he really is.
Son Goku is all muscle and power and death in one lithe demonic figure. Son Goku has probably killed a hundred thousand unfortunate souls in his time, probably with his bare hands. You know that his grip is solid as steel, because you’ve felt his hands around your neck more than once.
Son Goku is not the creature that has tugged at your hair so many times that you could possibly go bald in the next five years. Son Goku is not the creature that eats your share of the dinner and lies about it while their mouth is covered in telltale smudges. Son Goku is not the idiot that washes his red shirt with your whites and ends up dying your robes pink.
Most importantly, Son Goku is not loud and obnoxious and needy because Son Goku is not Goku and anyone who makes a mistake between the two is most likely to be dead in a minute.
Son Goku is six hundred years of brutality and Goku is something of an idiot that seems, at times, to be mentally six-years of age despite the fact that, in actuality, Goku and Son Goku are one in the same (with a few complications, of course).
You have personally seen Son Goku rip through metal with his claws as if it was paper and you know, for a fact, that Son Goku’s teeth could go through your throat as if it were butter.
The difference between Goku and Son Goku is like that between a puppy and a wolf but you know better. In reality, the puppy has a wolf’s teeth and a wolf’s instinct and the only reason that you can make him submit to you is because he lets you, out of his own free will.
So you’re a little rough with him at times and when he shrugs it off and looks at you the same as he always has, with nothing of remorse or anger, you’re amazed despite yourself.
One day, you think, one day he could rip me apart.
Looking at him now, though, when he’s not Son Goku, when he’s just stupid laughing Goku with the look that you know means that he’d do anything for you, you are calm.
Or, at least, as calm as you can be faced with the mishaps of Goku’s laundry adventures.
The first week that you had with the monkey did not go well.
He whined and hungered and followed you around, nipped at your fingers and talked insistently into your ear. He literally inhaled your scent, memorized it, and could track you from anywhere within the temple. Often times he’d grab the back of your robe and clutch on for dear life and would not leave your side for hours.
You’d thought that he would at least understand the idea of personal space. It had been a disappointment when you realized that he knew very little about it at all, or, if he did, chose to ignore it.
Of all things, you thought back then, he’s nothing more than a stupid dumb ape.
You kept pushing him away from you. His grip was restricting and, Heavenly Emperor, he needed you. If there is any truth in the world, from the rise of the sun to it’s setting, it is that he needed you more than anything.
Now you’re older and wiser and several blood pressure levels closer to death. The monkey knows better than to reach out for you. He doesn’t cling to you as if you’re the goddamned sun. You’ve beaten the idea of personal space into his thick skull over the years and maybe, you think, you’ve tamed him a bit.
However, if you saw him eating, you’d think otherwise. He still pops into your room at night demanding meat buns and duck and stir-fried chicken gizzards, please. You still need to kick the idea that he should try sleeping in his own room (you’ve even had one made, just for him) instead of sneaking to your door and sleeping in front of it. You’d thought that with the amount of times you’ve smacked him in the face opening the door, he’d get the idea by now.
You doubt he’d listen, though.
Disclaimer: Oh, I wish Saiyuki could be mine.
Author’s Note: I suck at writing Sanzo. On so many different levels. And I swear to God this was originally supposed to be Funny Monkey Antics but then it got rather depressing on me, and, well... yes, it did kind of morph a lot. I swear I will write Funny Monkey Antics one day and actually keep it funny.
And when I re-read the line “… and he could swallow you whole” I completely choked and died laughing.
Disjointed? Drabble-y? A bit confusing? You bet’cha. And mayhaps I shall revise and re-write this one day.
Review? I’d thank you very much if you would be so kind.