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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Microstory 869: Lemon-Drizzled Bananas

“When I was a child, my father died of some rare disease that I can’t remember anymore. Social services couldn’t find my mom, who ran out on us before I was old enough to know her, so I was placed with my grandmother. Her husband, my grandfather, had died not one week prior, so we were both in mourning. She was so good to me, though. She always prioritized my needs, and my emotional issues, over her own. And it wasn’t until I was an adult that I recognized her sacrifices. Anyway, she was a little weird, which you may recall; you met her a couple times. She was always coming up with new ways to eat very simple foods, hoping to find some miracle concoction that would allow her to eat the same thing every day and not get tired of it. She came up with this recipe—if you can call it that—that she called Yellow Wedding. I know what you’re thinking, it sounds racist, but I assure you she came up with the term out of complete innocence. All it is is lemon-drizzled bananas. That’s it. All you do is peel a banana, put it on a plate, and drizzle lemon juice over it. You’d think it would taste horrible, and—well, why don’t you give it a shot? Bad, right? But somehow it makes you feel better. No? Okay, it might take some time for it to kick in, but they can work miracles. Whenever I’m feeling bad, just buy a bunch of bananas, and a bag of lemons. Works every time.”

I politely eat the bananas, assuring my friend that I’m open to finding something to like about them, even though that is a total lie. He’s trying so hard to help how he can, and I appreciate the effort so much. We haven’t seen each other in years, but I guess he heard about what happened on social media. Despite many friends I’m in better contact with living closer, he was the first one to show up and offer his support. Last week, I was involved in one of those mass murders you’ve been hearing about on the news. I was walking on the sidewalk with my husband and daughter when we heard screams behind us. A truck had come up on the curb, and was on its way to us. It didn’t look like it was going to stop, but there also didn’t seem to be any way of escaping it. My husband thought quicker than me. He kicked me right in the stomach, knocking me out of the path of the vehicle. He then picked up our daughter, and threw her onto this raised terrace garden against the building, just before the truck struck him dead. I scrambled back to my feet, and tried to get back to my child, but the truck was still there, in my way. The psychotic driver backed up, making me think I had an opportunity to get to her, but he was just trying to gather some momentum. He slammed on the accelerator so hard that he was going fast enough to make it up onto the terrace. My daughter was the only person there, so he actually made a point of going after her. The more I think about her, the more I wonder what she would think of these things; these sour sweet confections that no one but this guy’s grandmother would think to make. And the more I eat them out of politeness, the more I want to eat, and the better I feel. I’m still not sure I like them, but I actually think that it’s working. I feel better than I have since the attack. I’m not cured, of course, but it’s the first time that I think that I might actually get through it.

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