Thanks For Teaching Me How To Slice Bananas

I just want to know, I said that night, siting on a bench under a street lamp.

All these years, and did I leave you with anything? I asked. Did I leave a mark, so when you do this thing you’ll forever think “there was this girl, one time, she showed me how to do this.”

You leaned your head back against the brick wall.

It was late, midnight or so, and you were visiting from Germany that Thanksgiving.

I don’t know, Lindsey. It’s all been so long ago, hasn’t it? If there is something, I probably do it and don’t wonder anymore. I don’t think like you.

Bananas, I said. You taught me how to slice bananas.

You looked over at me.

Bradley was there, I continued. In my parent’s kitchen.

Let’s not talk about Bradley, you said.

We were making fruit bowls that night, remember? We went to the store and we bought all that fruit.

With the pineapple, you said.  

Pineapples, I repeated. Bradley threw a pineapple and you missed it.

Fell on the floor; Yes, I remember.

Splattered, I grinned. It went everywhere and we had all those bananas.

I didn’t like bananas.

I know, but I did. They were my favorite. And we bought beer on my mom’s card.

You nodded. How’d we buy it? 

Bradley had a fake.

Right, you said. But how did we get away with that?

We all did back then.

You took a sip of beer, and the brown bag from the gas station crumpled in our ears. Go on then, with the bananas.

What of it?

Whatever you said I did.

You taught me how to slice them, I smiled.

Doesn’t everyone know how to slice a banana?

We were in my mom’s kitchen, I said. Preparing the fruit. Bradley was playing with the sound system in my living room. You remember that one in my living room with the broken speaker?

Let’s not talk about Bradley.

I wasn’t trying to.

Keep going, you said. Finish what you were saying.

You told me I slice bananas wrong. You said there was a better way, I paused. You really don’t remember any of this?

You shrugged.

You showed me how to make more pieces by slicing down the center. You told me if I cut the banana down the center first, it would make more pieces for everyone.

Well, it does, doesn’t it? You smiled.

It does, I agreed. But then you told me if I slice off the stem of the strawberries and place them right side up – I demonstrated with my hands – I would make more pieces that way, too.

You laughed then, like you couldn’t help it. Well you’re welcome, I guess. I changed your life.

Saves bananas, I said. I only use half a banana now when I eat a bowl of cereal.

You leaned back again on the bench.

What are you thinking?

I don’t really know, you finally responded. I guess about how good you are with all that. Remembering.

It feels like a curse sometimes.

I bet. You shook your head. But, I wish I had a little more of it.

Fruit bowls, 2007

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