21: You give bananas one last chance.

After you cleaned up your fridge, you turned to the counter upon which there were several bananas. You bought them around the same time as the okra and though, like the okra, they were green once, they are now, like the okra, somewhat black. However, the black-to-yellow ratio is not too imbalanced and you are full of vim and verve and moxie and many other fun words you don’t use often enough. You will give bananas one last chance.

You peel back the ripe, pungent skin and take a bite of the mushy yellow content. It is sickly sweet and has the consistency of, well, overripe bananas. Do overripe bananas really have a comparison? Like chewing on an overripe brain, you imagine! The image of chewing on human brains revolts you, because you are not a zombie, or me, so you spit out the mushy banana mouthful and swear off the cursed fruit forever.

Ah, this is so unfair! That’s not a real chance! That is trying the banana at its worst! That is like taking an exam before you have studied, or years after you have studied and long-forgotten the information. It is like stepping out in your pyjamas while covered with mud when making a first impression! It is like trying a banana before it is ripe, or long after it is ripe! I feel we are not finished with this, in all due fairness and in the name of JUSTICE! BE JUST WILL YOU!?

7: You are ever courageous!

I visit you today and ask you how long you intend to be a recluse.

“At least another five minutes,” you reply grouchily. You have already seriously considered shaving your head and wearing monk robes, whatever those may look like, and becoming a hermit, which as you understand it is a form of crab. Actually, the prospect of being a crab-monk is very exciting to you.

“Is there nothing I can do to convince you to return to civilization?” I ask.

“Make it more civilized,” you scowl.

“All by myself?” I gasp, dismayed. I can turn at least 95% of the world with ease, but ALL of it? You are asking quite a lot!

“I cannot go back outside,” you say seriously. “I have egg on my face.”

“I thought you had mud on your ass,” I reply.

“THAT WAS YESTERDAY,” you growl. “TODAY I DROPPED EGGS.”

I am momentarily concerned as to where you got the eggs.

“So you refuse to go outside ever again?” I ask doubtfully.

“That’s right,” you pout, sketching out potential costumes for your newfound crab-monk lifestyle.

“Very well,” I say. “I will just go to get [drink=select=iced coffee] all by myself.”

“Did you say [iced coffee]?!” you gasp. You toss your plans to the floor. You were getting very overwhelmed as to how to make a crab-monk costume. It would require a lot of sewing and bits of sea creatures, and you’re not sure you would look very nice. Oh, you. Always so self-conscious.

“Are you choosing another costume?” I ask.

“I’m choosing LIFE!” you say, beaming, and you put on a fresh pair of pyjamas. “LET’S GO OUT!”

*

After you change a few more times and settle into your usual outside clothes, we go out and get [iced coffee]. As you drink this down, you contemplate damage control.

“Not required,” I say. “Everyone has amnesia.”

You are very excited. “Really?!” you say hopefully.

“Yes, on that soap opera I was watching with your parents while we were waiting for you to come back outside.”

“My parents?!” you gasp. “How do you know my parents?!”

“I know everything,” I chuckle, hiding the exam I once got a C- on. I don’t know why I carry it around. It becomes very incriminating at times like these. And it says Borty Barrens on it. Who the heck is Borty Barrens? How have I been carrying around a poorly done exam that is not even mine for all these years? I face a temporary internal crisis as I contemplate all I have done in my life. You ignore me as you suck up [crushed ice] through a straw.

“Well, now that I’m back out, I suppose there are an endless source of things to do. I suppose I should catch up with life.”

“You were only a recluse for one day,” I inform you. “Not even a full day. Technically, you could not in any way be described as a recluse.”

“Technicalities,” you chuckle. You are so glad you learned that word. You can use it to dismiss any argument.

I wonder if this is true. “Even: You have failed your schooling and must start over.”

“Technicalities,” you sneer, printing out your own diploma.

I try, “Even: Your beloved pet [animal=select=iguana] has died.”

“Technicalities,” you repeat, taking Sergeant Lizzy to the taxidermist. He will be back in his cage as good as new.

I say, “Even: You are pregnant. Yes, you sir/ma’am.”

“Technicalities!” you laugh, no longer being pregnant. Amazing! Indeed, you are quite creative.

“It’s important to be positive,” you nod.

“What about receiving a positive diagnosis of a disease?”

“Technicalities,” you repeat, assuming a positive diagnosis means good news. It does not.

I look for more ways to stump you. Surely there are arguments you simply cannot dismiss! Don’t you think?

“Alls I thinks,” you say, reverting to slang, “Is thats I’ve gots somes lifes to lives. And some s’s to remove froms my sentences…s.”

Now that you have given me a grammar headache, you are able to prance off and form… a bucket list?

“I have formed a list of buckets I want to own before I die,” you say. “A red one… and a metal one. And that is all.”

“I’m not sure that is what a bucket list is,” I say.

“Technicalities,” you say.

6: You go on a walk.

“It’s a nice day out,” you say. I look out the window. I see no hail storms, rain or snow, slush or sleet, or blood flowing through the streets. Indeed, it is an adequate day, I suppose. A little bit of blood might be nice, but whatever.

 “No it wouldn’t!” you say, reading my thoughts, or rather, the words I have written down for you. Don’t pretend you are psychic! 

“Is it the six of hearts?” you ask. I gasp. How did you know?! 

“Anyhow,” you say. “I am going to go for a walk. Care to join me?”

“No,” I say. I would rather fly, but my Icarus Wings are not fully completed. You’ve warned me against those, but I am fairly certain I can fly higher than that loon. His flaw was a lack of perseverance, after all. Was that not the moral of the story?

You do not seek to correct me, but instead go outside and start walking. It is a lovely day. I remind you not to step on cracks on the sidewalk. 

You snort. “How superstitious,” you say, stepping on a crack to prove your point. Your leg falls straight through. As I tried to tell you, the cracks in the path are quite large and you can get hurt, stepping on those. Better to duck around. 

You pull your leg out and dust off the jagged scrape. Blood is flowing in the street after all! I cheerfully offer to join you now, but you do not want to see me test my wings, nor do you want me chuckling behind you as you try and walk with dignity in your pyjamas. Oh yes. You’re still in your pyjamas. 

“What a twisted writer,” you think to yourself, but then you are grateful I didn’t write you naked. I actually didn’t have the idea. Now I do! But you’re jogging away before I get the chance to add in a pack of clothes-tearing-off-dogs, rabid aggressive beasts who only attack you insomuch as to tear off your clothes, then they give up and leave you alone. They are actually very specially trained. 

As you contemplate these dogs, you walk into a tree. I’m joking, that’s silly. You instead walk into someone you’ve been avoiding recently. That’s much worse. 

“Do you like me or not?!” you yell, shaking your fist toward the universe, because you can’t remember which direction you started in and you’re not sure where I am. Probably soaring through the clouds like a fool who does not read stories through to the end. That person you’ve been avoiding looks at you like you are crazy. 

Now they pin you down with small talk! No! You try desperately to escape, using every trick in the book. “My home is on fire! I left something on the stove! I mean, the thing on the stove will set my home on fire unless I leave immediately!” 

“Don’t worry,” says that person cheerfully. “I am a firefighter and can save the day as required.” Then there is a terribly long awkward silence between the two of you because neither of you really wants to talk to the other. What is this weird social framework that insists you must? 

While this person now tries to corner you into doing a favour for them, you try the tactic of being suddenly deaf. This person also turns out to know sign language. You are terribly frustrated but impressed. A firefighter who knows sign language? What else does this incredible person do? You don’t wait to find out, as you pretend to get an emergency text. “Someone I love is on fire,” you explain. “I mean, they exploded. Something firefighters can’t help with. Excuse me.” You hurry away, hoping the person you were avoiding is not an intellectual on top of being a signing firefighter, as you realize that was a terribly weak lie.

You hurry away, but slip on some mud and fall onto your rear end. You rise to your feet, cursing, and feel the heavy weight of mud slick against your buttocks.

“My adorable Spongebob Hello Kitty Cars Star Wars pyjamas!” you yell, despite wearing something far more ambiguous, colourful and unbranded. “The ass of my pants! Curses!”

You are starting to really not enjoy your walk. You wonder if this is my revenge for you walking out on me. As I glue feathers together, I am indeed wondering when you will remember that you promised, absolutely promised you would stay in with me this afternoon and finally watch Casablanca so we could stop pretending we’ve seen it. “Here’s looking at you, Kim,” I murmur sadly.

You brush some of the muck off your butt, but that just leaves muck on your hands, which you brush onto your knees, further ruining your pyjamas. This would be the absolute worst time to run into your crush… SO HERE S/HE IS!! 

“Hi there!” you gasp, hands shooting backward to cover your ass. This just draws additional attention to the terrible brown coating of your posterior. Yes, it looks exactly like what you realize it looks like. Also, when did you rub your face with your hands? 

“Are you… um, okay?” your love interest asks. S/he is incredibly attractive and radiant today. A worm pokes its head out of the cluster of mud you wiped on your knee. 

“Never better,” you say breathlessly, trying to redeem yourself. Nervously, you run your fingers through your hair. Yes, the mucky ones. What’s wrong with you?! 

“Excuse me!” you say, and you run off. Your crush watches your retreating, mud-covered behind bounce away, squinting. “Surely that’s mud,” they are probably thinking. You groan. Why was there a mud puddle on a perfectly sunny day? 

If you’d asked me, I would have told you it was a day of freak storms. C’est la vie with Global Warming/Climate Change. It rained briefly and vehemently this morning, and look! It starts again now. 

You are drenched, but fortunately you are able to rinse some of that mud off. “Yay, my pyjamas!” you cheer. But there is still a soggy brown patch on your buttocks. You scowl and try to smack it off. Your love interest passes by again, staring at you with carefully-contained shock. This is really not your day. 

“I SURRENDER!” you scream, running back to the [house/apartment/place of residence]. It is not your [house/apartment/place of residence], however, and the people inside are terrified of the screaming, soaking-wet mud-covered creature yelling in its pyjamas.

I come in to save the day with my waxy wings! Just kidding. Those melted disastrously. Who would have predicted it? But you don’t need me to save you. You run screaming out of there, avoiding the urge to jump through a plate-glass window, which you think would add just the perfect dramatic edge to this awful scene but you’re fairly certain it would be pretty painful. Instead you run down the sidewalk, past a bunch of people who you’ve always wanted to impress, and return home, where your in-laws/extended family/friends/some ghosts are waiting. With the greatest dignity, you go to your room, remove your pyjamas, and become a recluse.