Banana Slides. Remember those things? The long yellow plastic mat that you stretched across your uneven lawn and doused it with enough water just so that it got slippery enough for a child’s body to slide over it? If you’ve ever had your turn at this 1980 summer activity, you probably have the scars to prove it. Rocks, sticks, rogue dinky cars, pine cones, your sister’s pet bird’s grave; that thin mat never protected your exposed skin from those hidden treasures under the mat and you can’t forget the end of the slide that wasn’t really an end per say. That damn thing launched you a “kid’s” mile beyond the mat and straight through the burnt summer grass because there was nothing to stop you.
As painful as it sounds, you were always dumb enough to get up, wipe the blood from your chewed up chin, and then go for more.
Could you imagine, as an adult, firing your body across that?
Memories of my beloved childhood Banana Slide came about when I watched my son accidentally jab his toes on big sharp stones on the shore over and over. He’d whimper, inspect the damage, and continue to trudge forth with a smile.
We went up north to my in law’s cottage for the Canada Day holiday weekend. The land of mullets and the only way to get a good reception for our techy devices is to ask the neighbor to stand out in the front lawn with his mouth wide open. You’d be surprised at how well metal fillings can pick up a good signal.
I’m totally kidding.
I like being detached from my phone and the computer and reattached to the things that sometimes get ignored in the hum drum of laundry and writing and doctor’s appointments and cooking shit that your kid says is poison.
(Sweet Rogaine, my forehead keeps getting bigger.)
I took my journal with me in hopes of getting writing in. I pictured myself on the rocky patch of land by the lake, the water tickling my toes with each wave rushing onto the shore, and annoying gusts of winds flipping my pages that are so white they practically blind me. Instead of my thoughts tapping into creativity, they stayed at the surface so that I could pay attention to what was happening around me.
As a writer/blogger don’t you ever find that you’re trying to write a story line in your mind as the moments are happening? Like watching your kid conspire with his cousin to take part in something very devious? I am guilty of not being present enough sometimes. My book never left the side compartment of our truck and I am ok with that.
My thoughts lately have been veering to the left side of “I hate myself”, but sitting and watching and engaging and a little lot of drinking (see 101 things not to do while on lithium and when depressed) pulled me out of that abyss for a short while.
Any breath big or small, is the buoy being thrown from a ship anchored securely in the water.
All good things though come to an end. Yes that statement is pessimistic as all hell but it’s true. However, if you really think about it, good doesn’t have to be anything spectacular. It can be that small breath when a moment makes you smile. You want to take it in and hold it for as long as you can.
Depression; it’s like a Banana Slide.
You reach the end and there is nothing to stop you.
You body skids across the burnt grass.
You stop and brush off the blood from chewed chin.
You go back for more.