if you are a faithful follower of EYEHEARTPDX, you’ll know i like bananas. maybe more than a little. and, if i’ve ever sent you an email, or a letter, you know that i have signed off these communiques “Tasty Bananas.” because it is polite to leave someone with a happy, yellow, and slightly silly farewell. if you are not privy to this information, then i may be just a kook with a thing for the third color of the rainbow, and a somewhat lovable eccentric fascination with a nutritiously slapsticksical fruit.
my thing with this particular banana started when i was 19, and i got a catalog in the mail for one of those discount CD clubs. it was there that i saw the Velvet Underground’s Peel Slowly And See, a box set of most of their studio music and extra live stuff, demos, what have you. i plugged that first disc in under cover of darkness in a freezing basement full of turpentine, spiders, and expired tin cannisters of DDT, and got my mind completely blown. i hadn’t heard anything like it before, and i sat and listened to each disc in turn, one after the other, until the sun had come up. there chain smoking in a funky dungeon, fiddling with the removable vinyl decal from the box, i began an odyssey into psych music, andy warhol study, and banana appreciation.
when i began collecting tattoos on my left arm, i starting getting them from the shoulder down, rather than from the wrist up as many people do, especially those who want you know they’ve got them. i liked the way the long and curvy banana went with the shape of my bicep, and made a nice frame for my other stuff up there. also, i figured it would be a laff riot to have that slightly past its prime fruit in my armpit, so on hot and sweaty days i could give myself the sniff test, make a face, and say: “whew, i am RIPE!” i still crack myself up with this.
i’ve met 2 other people with this tattoo. one was a gal that has it on her forearm twisted at a jaunty angle so that it wraps around her arm a bit. she was understandably alarmed when i saw her handing me my soda one night at a restaurant, and i leapt up shouting “Banana Buddy!” hoisting my sleeve up to show off my armpit. another person had this as a lower back piece, hovering over their posterior menacingly, almost like a pirate spacecraft, daring the foolhardy to attempt to tangle with its potassium death ray. and then i met this fine gentleman on Friday the 13th, whose first and only tattoo was the Warhol banana, and we both had it in the same place. he now has a second tattoo, happy to say. so now there are three i’ve met, each my brethren (or sistren, if you like) in banana, lovers of Pop Art, or the Velvet Underground, or just the color yellow, or maybe even plain old just being awesome. can’t fault someone for that.
so there you have it. Portland brings the fruit-crossed, star-spangled, dream-prone and weird together. thank you, Banana Buddy, wherever you are, for making one crazy day in the Rose City just a bit more delightful.
Day Old Banana Puddin.
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