The Moment Home Readings Buy the Book About The Moments

Two Plus Two

My face began to turn blue.

I try to stay away from bananas. They remind me of my mother, a tiny brunette with red lipstick and sparkling eyes. The sparkle was from an even mix of glamour, narcotics, and madness. It's not that I don't like bananas. I steer clear of them because when I was a baby, my mother tried to kill me with one.

I'd been half told the story many times. Neither of my parents believed girls could be good at math. Maybe they assumed I'd never put any number of things together.

It happened at home, with me in a highchair and my mother feeding me bananas. Why the sudden change from jars of Gerber strained bananas to large pieces of an actual banana is not mentioned. I was three months old.

It's possible I initially liked it, but not for very long. At some point my windpipe became completely blocked with banana and I stopped breathing. My mother, sitting next to me, did nothing for awhile. My face began to turn blue.

My dad came in then, took one look at me, and flew into action the only way he knew how: he yanked me out of the highchair and began pounding me on the back, whacking, thumping, at one point grabbing me by the ankles, swinging me upside down while he continued to pound against my back.

My mother became active too. She began yelling at my father, telling him not to try to save me: "She's dead! Stop doing that! What's the point? I'm telling you, she's dead!"

He ignored her. Then she tried to physically stop him, grabbing at his arms, and when that didn't work, she tried to pull me away from him. Luckily for me, he was stronger.

"SHE'S NOT DEAD!" my father yelled. He kept right on pounding my back. And then a huge wad of banana shot out of my mouth. And then I was crying, red-faced, full of oxygen.

Growing up, my father would always close this story by adding, "Boy, was your mother mad."

He never said anything about questioning my mother's motives or getting her counseling or calling the police or never leaving me alone with her again. He never mentioned those things because he never did any of them.

At age 16 I asked my mother if she had clogged up my throat on purpose so I'd die.

"WELL, you cried ALL the TIME."

I blinked. I let her keep talking.

"You don't know what it's like. All the time. Crying. Needing. And then I'd have to hear 'Oh, she's so pretty.' So pretty!" She spat the phrase out like it sickened her.

She glared at me, her dark eyes blazing. Daring me to argue. Maybe daring me to ask more. But I knew her, and I didn't dare.

Backstory

Until the end of my mother's life, she remained ticked off at my dad for this, and she used to complain about it to me. I gave up trying to explain how this was bizarre.

Comments

No comments yet, why not leave one of your own?



Leave a Comment or Share Your Story

Please Sign In. Only community members can comment.

The Moment Book

Moments from the SMITH Community

Tomorrowland "Daisy, F3," my son Archer says as we pull into our parking spot. Disneyland’s about to open and we've arrived, just the two of us, our last hoorah before school starts. *** The alarm goes off and I pull the pillow tightly over my head. My husband, Hal, offers to wake the kids so I roll over, fall back asleep until Archer's voice wakes me, this time for good. "Hi, Mommy. It's …
Line Break
With Both Hands Whenever I think of my mother, my mind flips to this story. Not to the whole story, but right to the middle of it, the worst moments of it. For me, that's where the story always starts. My mother was beating the hell out of me. The first few blows seemed to come from every direction as I grabbed my nightgown and pulled it over my head, not …
Line Break
Reasons to be Thankful By Robert Israel They scraped me off the street, my bicycle in a heap nearby, and ever so gingerly placed me on the gurney. A crowd of curious onlookers watched intently, thankful they were not being loaded onto the ambulance. The nurses at the hospital were calming as nurses are wont to be, and administered an intravenous tube of morphine, and soon everything around me became fuzzy and numb, and the …
Line Break
Read More Community Moments →
 
SMITH Magazine

SMITH Magazine is a home for storytelling.
We believe everyone has a story, and everyone
should have a place to tell it.
We're the creators and home of the
Six-Word Memoir® project.