Green Bananas

He buys green bananas.  That’s it.  Not yellow ones, not ones with spots.  His bananas must be green.  He doesn’t buy the coffee he takes from the free sample station.  He talks to the person handing out samples, exchanges pleasantries because he feels he must.  He feels he must do this because he knows he’s going to be a pain in the ass.  He’s a pain in the ass because after the third or fourth Dixie cup of free coffee he sneaks up to the door that leads to the EMPLOYEES ONLY back room and peers through porthole-sized window of one of the double doors.  He does this because he knows from experience not to open the doors and yell for help, or to walk inside and look through the bananas himself.

He watches for someone.  

He hopes he spots someone who doesn’t know him, someone who doesn’t know him like the sample station employees know him.  He doesn’t want someone who knows him because he doesn’t want a snarky attitude, he doesn’t want to draw any aggression or rancor.  All he wants are emerald green bananas.  The kind of green you find in Columbian banana tree fields.  The pure, organic, free-range green you cannot find in a supermarket thousands of miles away from its source.  The kind of green that only exists in a petty jerk’s imagination.

This is his day.  

One day out of his week, sometimes two, he spends it finding five to seven impossibly green bananas.  If there are green bananas on the sales floor he either does not notice them or, more plausibly, believes better ones are in the back of the store where shoppers are not allowed to go.  Except for him.

They call him “that fucking guy” or “that green banana perv mother fucker” or “for fuck’s sake he’s at the door, again.”  They call him these things because none of them want to know him personally.  He doesn’t offer anything more than anonymous small talk because he himself doesn’t want to humanize them.  They are robots, market place robots, and they must fetch him the greenest bananas – or even better – allow him to peruse a few unopened cases of bananas where he stands in their way looking for his weekly quota of under ripe fruit.

They don’t believe he eats anything else.  They think he should have died a long time ago, like koalas, because they only eat one fucking thing.  Koalas have eucalyptus.  Koalas will at least devour eucalyptus at any stage of its life because they are programmed by nature to only eat that plant.  Koalas have no choice.

This dude has a choice.  He can get back to his life, whatever that may be, or he can spend a day of his life getting up in the morning, getting dressed, looking at himself in the mirror and preparing for his trek to the grocery store for green bananas.  

He chooses green bananas.

They imagine he consults his reserves of patience by talking to himself in the mirror, pumping himself up for those green bananas, the secret ambrosia of life.  They wonder if he likes what he sees in the mirror (beyond the spittle and dust) but they’ve come to the conclusion that he doesn’t notice the pest he is to them.  He’s a pest because he blocks the doorway with a pitiful look, which is the equivalent of parking on the 405 (or heathen-car-madness for those who do not know) and gives this pathetic look to passing employees, requesting of all things, perfectly unripened bananas.

If he were asking for humans he’d be requesting fetuses.  This is the hard green banana he needs to survive.

Banana Perv is well-dressed, clean, and smells like he showers regularly and uses deodorant.  His sanity is not exactly in question.  But…

It’s all in his head, right?

Yes.  It is.  They do not entertain that bit of fancy, they don’t even voice it.  The vote is unanimous – Banana-Man is an asshole.  And yet… by being an asshole he makes them reflect upon their own lives.  What the hell am I hung up on?  What am I wasting my time with?  And, as sudden as his appearance and disappearance in and from the store, one day an employee sees the waste in their own life.  They are able to excise their “green bananas” from their own lives by watching this man waste his life for literal green bananas.  Through the magic of vicarious existence, the employees watch and learn what wasteful behavior looks like and how it kills a human soul.

Thank you, Banana-Man.  You are making a huge sacrifice for our well-being.  May your wisdom be as fresh and green as the moss that grows on Sisyphus’ boulder.

One thought on “Green Bananas

  1. I remember that man’s face, when he would encounter his perfect green bananas….his prize. It was (to him) a private moment of joy. It was (to us) an awkward moment of a man finding too much fulfillment in a fruit. He begged me at #40 (so long ago) to let him come in the back and look at the new bananas that had just come in off of the truck. He seemed earnest. He said he needed them “as green as possible….for his mother”. “Ok. Let me help you out, Green Banana Man Whom I’ve Just Met.”
    What I saw kinda gave me the squirms and I never really get the squirms.
    He opened the waxy banana box as if he were opening a Treasure Chest. He began to to take out bunches of bananas, so tenderly. He would separate “perfect” bananas from the bunches until he had 6-8. All while lovingly masterbating the bananas. Poor fruit. Am I talking about the bananas or the Banana Man? Both.

    Thank you, half follow, for sharing so eloquently your experience, and inspiring my own.


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