Banana – a really short story
Here’s a (really) short—and a little odd—story you might like to read.
After all of this time, now I’m trash. No, sorry… I’m garbage. The newspaper I find myself uncomfortably snuggled up to—almost wrapped up in—is trash. He seems proud of that like it’s an important distinction and somehow better than being garbage. I honestly don’t know the difference, but I respect his right to think that as I also try to be proud of being garbage.
The cherry tomato with whom I share this tight, dark space, seemed to agree with me, but of course, he had to identify with garbage. Inanimate objects are trash, he had said. I’m not. He was awfully wrinkled and squishy at the time—old and maybe senile—so I’m not sure I should trust his perception. A little later, when I tried to get some clarification, I got no response. He must have died.
That fate awaits me as I feel myself turning darker, inside and out. My meat is soft to the point of being called ‘mushy’, and my once beautiful yellow skin is dark brown and, in spots, black already. I have to accept that final decay is inevitable, but I’m not comfortable with it. You live, and you die, I was told by a wizened old cucumber with whom I shared the counter space. It’s unfair, he had said. I’m supposed to be in the refrigerator. Now, that’s unfair. I should have more time. Look at me! I’m damn puckered!! I wonder where he went when he died. I wonder where I will go.
Ever since I was a bud, I pondered my destiny and my purpose. To be eaten is what they said, but it didn’t really make any sense—I don’t eat so I couldn’t relate. As I lay here, I can almost feel the sunshine that bathed me when I was young. I remember growing, adding meat, getting stronger every day, stretching my skin, forcing it to be yellow instead of green. I am also able to feel the breeze as my bunch-mates—my family, I called them—grew as well. We danced together when the wind blew strongly and shivered together when it was cold. There was a comradery, a wonderful sense of belonging, of sharing a goal.
As I sit here, I can sense the ocean beyond the hill where my mother, the tree, sat, and the bright sky above us and the smell of blossoms and salty air. It was good. We were so happy, not quite content since we didn’t understand or know what happened after the act of being eaten, but happy. Whatever ‘eaten’ represented, we learned to look forward to it. Young and stupid, I guess, but we stuck together even after being cut loose from our mother. We were a bright and happy bunch then.
But I’m here now, here in this dark and lonely place. I wonder why the circle of life seems so good at the beginning and so bad at the end. Why isn’t happiness a reward for living a full life? Doesn’t that make more sense? To deepen my depression, I know I wasn’t eaten. I was thrown away. No matter how I try to accept that being garbage is dignified, I understand that it is not. It feels more like failure. Only the fruit flies seem to care very much.
I don’t smell blossoms now—that’s gone for me. What I am smelling is starting to be awful. Is it the tomato? Or me? I listened to the complaints from the other garbage and agree that we’ve been treated unfairly, thrown away before we achieve our destiny. The other voices have ceased, one by one, and I must assume that their wrinkles have deepened to the point of death.
So, I wait, feeling my skin go black, my body go mushy, and my own wrinkles deepen.
What else can I do?