I recently had a very, very bad camping experience. I could write a lot about it, but I already did, so just wait for the book.
Regardless, it left me feeling very sad and very pathetic and very unsure about who I fundamentally was as a human. So, I gave up on life a little bit and spent the day in a blind fog, mindlessly walking places and drinking coffee and smiling at strangers when I remembered that was a nice thing to do.
After a long day of doing this, I checked into my hostel room. It was apparently full of long-termers, meaning there was shit everywhere. Not wanting to add to the mess (or moreso, not wanting to lose my remaining prized prossessions within it), I dumped everything beyond what I’d immediately need in a locker in the corner – including one, single banana I had managed to snag away from this camping trip gone horribly wrong. It felt strange to put it in a locker, sure, but it felt so unnecessary to get a food bag from the kitchen and label it with my name and room number all for the sake of one single banana.
Then I met a stranger, had a wonderfully necessary life chat and went to bed. At 4am I woke up feeling alarmingly hungry – which happens after a long day of eating essentially nothing and wandering around as a lifeless entity. So, I went to my locker, had a bite of my banana, and went back to bed.
I woke again at 8, and the sun streaming through the patio door immediately lightened my spirits. Today was a new day, baby, and I was gonna get my shit together. So I went to my locker. I had another bite (x2) of my banana, laced up my sneakss and went for a run to the lighthouse.
It was beautiful. It was so, so beautiful and I felt so good and normal and happy and alive again. And I felt genuinely relieved to feel that way. So after a sunshine-filled 4km and an offer from the above mentioned stranger to spend the day with a beachside patio-hop, I went home to shower. I showered. I put on my bathing suit. I unlocked my locker and finished my banana. And suddenly it hit me how hilarious this situation was.
Like, the only thing I had gone in and out of my locker for in the past 12 hours was to have access to this single banana on 3 separate occasions. Like, was this really the most important banana ever to exist in the world that I needed to keep it safely locked away? And beyond that, how this one banana managed to last as a 12 hour snack is so weird in of itself.
It was so funny to me. And this knee-slapping HILARIOUS situation not only weirdly cheered me up, but it was only the beginning of what turned out to be such a wonderful day with cool people and sunburns and ciders and so much writing. And it felt so, so good.
So my point is this: sometimes when you keep a banana in a locker, you realize that life is funny and weird. And how great is it to be able to appreciate something as simple as a little, sacred banana getting hidden away from the world.
You realize that shitty things happen sometimes, but these shitty situations can result in 10+ pages of writing material and can lead you to some really great people you never would have intertwined with otherwise. That if camping had worked out, I never would have found myself sharing a joint and beachside bonfire with the Byron Bay rugby team and seeing once again how many people exist in the world and how all of these people are just living life and trying shit and no one knows what they’re doing but everyone’s just giving it a go, and that’s pretty fucking cool. To just exist in this world where everyone has a story, and for a brief moment your story gets to overlap with his and hers and hers and his, and maybe your story changes a bit. Maybe they say something that sticks with you for a while. Maybe they pull you out of this mindless fog you fell into when your story took a turn for the worse. Whatever happens from it, it’s so cool that everyone is just doing their thing and letting each other be a part of wherever they happen to be.
So, may we all continue to live life and try shit and give it a go. May we all continue to let our own lives intertwine with each others to make ours ever better. And may we all keep some fruit on-hand and safely locked away, because you just never know when a dumb little banana will be able to pull you back to life.