Sunday, September 14, 2008

banana pops

"Pick a hand! Pick a hand!" she said as soon as I opened up my front door.

She was giddy with excitement with two hands hidden behind her back.

"The left one," I said before changing my mind. "No, the right. The right! No... no. The left! Make it the left!"

I watched her for a moment, while her shoulders bounced up and down shuffling between hands before pulling out a frozen chocolate covered banana for me. She wasn't wearing her usual makeup and her hair looked almost like schlack to her head.
As I extended my hand to accept it from her, my eyes rivoted to her dark cave-like smile.

She caught my eye contact and quickly slapped her hand up to her mouth. "I've been violently ill with the flu and threw up my teeth this morning. I had one hand grabbin' onto my hair jus' like this to hold my hair up and I had this other hand flushin' the toilet and I jus' wasn't quick enough to grab my uppers before they swirled down the drain!"

She then smiled an upsidedown smile to show me her unhappiness. When I saw a few lower teeth just barely sinking up above her gums, I suddenly felt like I was about to get ill myself.

"Pick a hand!"
She shouted again. "Pick a hand. Nuthin' but a hand!"
From her other hand, she pulled out the yellow box. "After you eat my delicious treat, you're gonna wanna make yer own, so here's a gift!"

She was a neighbor I hardly knew.

I barely said the words: "thank you" before she got a worried look to her face, cupped her hands to her mouth and ran toward her home.

I watched her run down the sidewalk as I closed the door. I took a deep breath and felt ashamed for what I was about to do.

I took one look at the
chocolate covered banana and another at the box and I knew only too well, not to hold on to something I knew I would never eat. I tossed them both away.

Gift-giving. It's really in the timing. Had she felt well, I wouldn't have thought anything about eating the banana she had handed to me. But now, I wasn't able to get past the thought of even keeping the box. Except to snap this picture of it that looks like perhaps the shelf date has expired years ago.


danny said...

oh my gawwwd! I'm nauseated just reading it...not your blog, but the story itself...I've never been too thrilled about bananas anyway. This may have put it over the top.

Doodlestreet said...

blank stare...



umm...on many levels.

danny said...

Well that's right up there on the 'eeeewwwww' factor...and yeah I don't blame you...but bless her heart for bringing over a gift after having just thrown up and losing her teeth in the toilet. Seems comical, even...

Rayne said...

What was that lady thinking?? Are you sure she wasn't feverish and delirious?
I don't blame you for not keeping them.

doodlegirl said...

Oh these comments are making me laugh! I just reread my post and that post DOES havva bit of the 'ewwww' factor. I did the "blink. blink. blink." as well, after she ran off. I thought to myself.. "did this just happen to me?" and "Have I been "Punk'd"?

It DID happen. And this was for real.

platitudinal said...

When I first read the story my first thought was this person sounded so giddy and excited. Immediately I thought she was a child until I read further. The part where she admitted she was sick was a sudden turn. I would’ve probably asked her how she was doing and hoped she felt better. I guess you’re right, timing is everything :)

Kate said...

You evoked a string of emotions.
Thank you for taking her gift.
Thank you for not re-gifting it!
Thank you most of all for having a good heart and seeing how little she had to offer but how much she gave.

doodlegirl said...

thank you.

Lisa Jo said...

Woman, write your book. I'll be waiting. And I'll be first in line for the day of your signing... when there's a billboard of you, your name in highlights and the time and place that you'll be making your appearance.