Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Yes, There's a Banana on My Windshield (or, "Friendship Rocks")


Friendship is an amazing thing. It's so odd how you can connect so strongly and completely with other people sometimes. Perhaps the best part, as far as I'm concerned, is when someone truly gets your sense of humor ... especially when the sense of humor in question is as ridiculous as mine is. What a treasure it is, as long as it is around, to feel completely understood for once.

So I had court today. No, I didn't do anything wrong (much to the chagrin of my students, who thought it was hysterical that I had to miss half a day of work to go to court); this was just the final chapter in the great divorce debacle. To say that I was upset and anxious would be a gross understatement and, despite my trip to Starbucks after dropping Addie off at school (I thought I could use the time to WRITE but--surprise, surprise--nothing was coming), I found myself almost to the courthouse nearly an hour early. I spent much of that time on the phone with Andy, who listened to me freak out as he is so good at doing.

Andy's current job involves bananas. And driving. A lot. I'll leave it at that. We have the kind of friendship where we laugh at everything; even things that are really serious somehow become funny, I swear. Anyway, Andy is referred to by some people he works with as "Banana Boy", and so there's this running joke that his alter ego, Banana Boy, is really a superhero with magic powers. It sounds very stupid when I write it and I'm sure it sounds very stupid as you read it, but it's just hysterical when it comes up in reality. Anyway, I had to explain that so you can fully appreciate what happened next, a lesson in friendship and being there for someone and, most importantly, making life a little more humorous.

I left my CrackBerry in my car when I went into the courtroom because I was scared it would ring in the middle of court or something (and I have a tendency to think it is on "vibrate" when it really isn't). When I got back to my car, I got in and turned my phone on. I noticed that I had a text from Andy, so I read it and could not stop laughing. It read:

"LOOK ... down in the alley ... it's a cat ... it's a dog ... no, it's BANANA BOY!!!! Here I come to peal away ... Banana Boy will save your day ..."

It just cracked me up like you cannot imagine. So I pull out of the parking lot and am on my way to work, and I call Andy to thank him for the text. I cannot stop laughing, and then he starts talking about "the banana", and I stop laughing because I'm very confused.

ANDY: "You mean you didn't see it?"

ME: "See what?"

ANDY: "The banana I left on your windshield."

ME: "There's no banana on my windshield."

ANDY: "I left a banana on your windshield."

ME: "There's no ... Oh, shit, there's a banana on my windshield."

And of course that was it for both of us. Hysteria ensued. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time, and trust me when I tell you that it was necessary.

I teach literary symbolism to my freshmen, and it occurred to me today while talking about shoes as a symbol in Sandra Cisneros' The House on Mango Street that Andy's banana, dropped off while he was working in the area, was a symbol of sorts. "I'm here," that banana said. "I know you're upset and scared and hurt and all sorts of bad things, but someone is showing that they are here for you--metaphorically speaking--and thinking of what you're going through." Able to send a message that serious while causing me to laugh hard enough to pee my pants (not literally, of course) ... Andy is the best friend ever, and I will never forget both his support and his laughter today.

What are some memorable moments your best friend has given you?