Banana in the asphalt

Last night leaving my best friend’s house after a night of delicious foodings and Kinect: Dance Central, I had to question my mommy-ness yes, once again. My son Tye, whom I usually have to remind to bring a jacket, remembers on this of all nights. It had to be 30 degrees below zero as we are leaving the condominiums, in the Marina. Or so it felt like 30 degrees below. I underestimate my dear California weather and as we hit the door to the parking structure, wind chill nearly knocks me over. I come bearing an artsy grey short-sleeved crochet cardigan, slight cleavage in my undershirt, black knee high-boots, a ponytail, and tight black leggings. Geared up for dance—mind you. I now contemplate asking my 11-year-old son for his jacket, am I a bad mother?

“Tye, don’t you wanna let mommy wear your jacket-real quick?”

“Yea, mom, here.” As he hands me his jacket, my cheeks feel the crisp of the air.

Now comes the guilt.

“Nahh, never mind. It’s cool; I was jus’ playin,’” I say to him after feeling so bad having to ask him for his jacket.

To appease, distract, and to counteract the cold, I begin shouting out ridiculously nonsensical commentary, again, as loud as I could, as we walk through the parking lot. It was that cold in a way that makes you want to curse and do things you never thought of.

“It’s like a worm in a basket- cold!!” I scream in the echo of the parking lot. My son looks at me strange smiling. I brrrrr and complain on. I, like others are under the false impression that if you complain about something that it’s going to get better. We walk along the structure. There’s a slight descent of pavement.

“It’s like the sun on a Monday- cold!!!” Again I scream—in my rambunctious voice- my son now beaming with joy.

“It’s like a–” my foot twists in some wretched twirl stuck in the decline of the slope and a crack. I lose my bearings in a break dance meets Soulja Boi’s Supahman dat hoe,’ and I crumble to the ground.

The first thing I can think of is “if only I hadn’t disobeyed the gods – forgetting my jacket, complaining about it… …” I realize in the pause for reaction after falling, that the second you understand that you are going asunder and there is not even one thing you can do about it – and you know nothing, the world goes in a surprisingly slow-motion.

I look up to my son in such laughter. I can tell that he is attempting to point at me, but his laughter is so heavy that he cannot pull his arm up high enough.

“It’s like a banana in the asphalt- cold!!!” My son screeches at the top of his lungs in pure laughter. I am now more embarrassed than any other moment. In the laugh he says again…

“The Gods shouldn’t have done you like that!” as he holds his stomach. Face now as ‘ready-red’ as mine.

I stand to my feet. The whole way home in the car I blamed Tye for “stepping on a crack trynna break his mother’s back.” Apparently there was a running joke of “the cherry that broke the camel’s back,” and my “cold and broke-legged-ness” as well. There was even mention of “you thought you were bad, now you’re worse.”

Come to think of it, it really is as clandestine as a “banana in the asphalt,” and funnily so– some divine something or other made that one of my best night’s in a while. I mean when is the last time you can actually say in your adult life, that you’ve taken a fall in a moment where you least expected it? Does it even happen to you? Today I am buying a better space heater for my complaining, and sitting here with my ankle—happily throbbing.


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