If you had to write a story to save your life, what would you write, where would your story begin?
Perhaps you’d find yourself beneath the desert sky one early evening, listening as young voices cry out, “banana moon!” There’s silver up above and children’s laughter floating in the air. With head bowed, you trace a broken heart in the sand.
The morning comes, the children dream of sand and silver and loving hearts, a plane ascends. Looking down you see, wandering amidst the mirage of bright lights and improbable fountains, those who have forgotten the magic of the desert. You close your eyes and listen for the sound of laughter; thirty minutes and one hundred and sixty miles later passes and you hear none.
Meanwhile, the man besides you, somber faced and grey-suited, is lost, but in a good way, as he reads Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. A flight attendant brings you coffee and you ask for two sugars – the first for the coffee, the second you pour upon your tray so you may trace a broken heart. The plane purrs and rattles, the heart disappears.
Four days’ mail crams the mailbox and the unpacked suitcase is left to fend for itself. You walk to the bathroom, open the medicine cabinet and scowl; the door is open so the mirror reflects the wall, not your face. Soon, forty-two red and green pills float in the toilet bowl. You urinate but the deadly little armada refuses to sink. There’s nothing else to do but flush and walk away.
If you had to write a story to save your life, what would you write? Perhaps you’d write of a seemingly ordinary man in a grey suit who had an ordinary job, ordinary friends and uneventful days. But once a month, about the time the banana moon comes, he remembers the magic of the desert. One those days, while everyone else still sleeps, he rises early to usher in the dawn with soft laughter.
Later, when all are sleeping, he smiles as he remembers the sound of children’s voices.
Yes, on those days when the banana moon comes, he is the first to laugh and the last to smile.