LANA & ME: Meetings with Remarkable Apes

Suddenly Lana, seemingly struck by a powerful feeling, turned and bounded, baby still at her breast, up to the window I was leaning against. She banged on the glass, and then looked me in the eye as if she had something to say. I felt an instant sense of intimacy, as if we were two people drawn to each other who just didn’t speak the same language. At least, not verbally. She put her hand on the glass and I put mine up to meet hers. When I put my other hand on the glass, she put her other hand up to meet mine. Then she leaned back on a branch and put her feet on the glass. I kicked off my sandals, perched on the window ledge and put my bare feet up to hers. I felt like the little kid touching fingertips with ET, except this was no extra-terrestrial; this was a fellow Earthling, my primate cousin, my new friend.

Lana gives me a kiss .. PHOTO: Theron Marks

Then she kissed me. This was not just a quick peck hello like before, but a slow, dramatic, tantric smooch right on the glass in front of my face. Perhaps it was a good thing there was a glass separating us for the kissing part, because I might have been a bit startled to get ape spit all over my face. But with the glass safely between us, I felt enchanted, drawn into a spiritual and very physical expression of love that I had, quite frankly, never experienced before. This was a serious connection, but extremely playful at the same time. I kissed her back, our lips meeting but not touching, a modern inter-species same-sex version of Tristan and Isolde.

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