because none of us is fucking up like we think we are, is what i'm trying to say

Monday, 21 May 2012

It's a banana. In a hat.


At about 6.25 p.m. on Saturday night I got a tattoo of a banana in a hat.

‘You want this?’ the guy behind the desk said, raising his eyebrows. My forearm was flung out in front of his face, where a friend had scrawled on me in bic biro three days ago. On half the length of the underside of my forearm, starting just below the wrist, was a semi-peeled banana wearing a top hat. Obviously, therefore, the banana was smiling. 

‘It’s the funniest tattoo I have ever seen,’ the guy said.
I said, ‘What, today?’
He shook his head. ‘No. Ever.’
I nodded solemnly.

I turned to my friend and said, ‘Do I really want to get a tattoo of a banana in a hat?’
‘Yes.’ She nudged me further into the studio. ‘You do.’

And it’s true; I did really want it. It’s just that when the guy with the face art tells you you’re weird, you can naturally be helpless to momentary reassessment. But for the three days I had walked around with the biro drawing on my arm after I demanded a friend help me out, and I liked it. I was committed. I looked at the bic drawing. Yes.

I’d knocked on my friend’s classroom door that week to say, ‘Lianne. Please make sure I speak with you before you leave today. Thank you.’

Sometimes it’s fun to use my professional voice.

(Related: guys. I’VE ACTED LIKE A TEACHER FOR LIKE, A WHOLE YEAR NOW. I’m pretty sure I’m about to get found out. )

She’d raced to me after her lesson, all, I’M HERE. WHAT’S UP? DID SOMEBODY DIE? I ALWAYS THINK SOMEBODY DIED WHEN YOU’RE SERIOUS. To which I was like IF SOMEBODY HAD DIED, WOULD I WAIT FOR YOU TO FINISH TEACHING THE PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS BEFORE I TOLD YOU? And she was all, WELL, HE TAKES HIS EXAM NEXT WEEK! WE HAVE A LOT TO COVER BEFORE THEN! And then I said IS THAT THE KIND OF PERSON YOU THINK I AM? THE KIND OF PERSON WHO WOULD EXPECT YOU TO SEE OUT YOUR LESSON BEFORE I TOLD YOU THERE HAD BEEN A DEATH? THAT SOMEHOW I THINK DEATH ISN’T AS IMPORTANT AS THE CAMBRIDGE FIRST CERTIFICATE? IS THIS HOW THINGS ARE, LIANNE? BECAUSE THAT HURTS MY FEELINGS YOU KNOW. I THINK IT REALLY BLOWS IF YOU THINK SO LITTLE OF ME THAT I WOULD HANDLE DEATH IN SUCH A COLD, HARD MANNER. TELL ME IF THAT’S WHAT YOU THINK. COME ON! TELL ME!

And then Lianne furrowed her brow, shook her head, and said, ‘So, what exactly is the problem, again?'
‘Oh,’ I replied, remembering to be excited once more. ‘I just need you to draw this banana in a hat on my wrist please.’ I jabbed my arm and a crappy sketch I'd designed in her face.

She sighed, rolled her eyes, and obliged.

As I showed off the biro drawing, everyone I know tried to tell me two things:
1. What was drawn on me in biro was far too large and I should get it done teeny-tiny small.
2.  Probably, I shouldn’t get I done at all.

The receptionist at work said, ‘What about when you are a 60 year-old woman? What then?'
The answer to me was obvious. ‘Dude,’ I said to her. ‘If a 60 year-old woman dressed in neon and red hair came to our front desk with a question, you’d be all, “THE SIXTY YEAR-OLD WOMAN HAS A TATTOO OF A BANANA IN HAT! SHE MUST’VE HAD SOME LIFE!”’
The receptionist shook her head. ‘No,’ she said. ‘I’d say, “Why didn’t she have friends kind enough to stop her from getting a tattoo of a banana in a hat?”’
‘Miserable cow,’ I said.
Mental,’ she said.

But you see, the thing is, the more people around me who questioned the validity of my proposed tattoo plan, the more it cemented my desire to get it.

I don’t know if you remember, Internet, but the whole banana in a hat thing came from little 5 year-old Virginia. She was so certain of something she had created, even when everyone around her told her it was shit, she laughed and danced round the classroom in celebration of the thing she had made. It didn’t matter what everybody else thought- she knew something to be true, and so that is all that mattered. GUYS. IT’S A BANANA IN HAT! COME ON!

To Virgina, the ones who didn’t see it were the mentals.

And that's just it. If my keyword this year is potential, then my byline should feature the words banana and hat because no. Life doesn’t have an instruction manual, or a guide, or a map most of the time, and so when you accidentally move to Rome and struggle and want to move home but you don’t know what home is, you must always try to remember that no matter how sad you feel, no matter how hard growing up may be, sometimes all you need to remind you which way is up is a banana in a hat because GUYS. THE ANSWER IS OBVIOUS.

Even if it is only obvious to you.

Bollocks to the rest of ‘em.

It worked for Virginia. And now, Internet. It works for me.

IT'S A BANANA IN A HAT!




(And uh-huh. It hurt like a bitch.)


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