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  • It started with a banana, three bananas, left by my brother and sister-in-law.

    They made their way from South Carolina (the bananas and family together) and spent the night in the car (the bananas, not my family). They prematurely browned (the bananas), and when they left (my family), the brown bananas stayed behind.

    I didn't want to eat them. A faulty assumption on my part made me think they were mushy. They weren't. Then, they were. When they started to smell, I baked muffins, banana muffins with dark chocolate chips, three dozen small ones that I carried around for a day and pawned off onto friends, coworkers and strangers.

    "Mmmm…" called a Metro man from a cab of a truck as I walked to the office. "Homemade cookies."

    "Muffins!" I replied. "Want one?"

    He declined, but by the time I left the shelter that night, by the time I climbed into my own vehicle, only four remained.

    "Does this work?" I thought as I leaned across the passenger seat to unroll the window. "Does it really work? What do they think is going to happen, truck drivers who honk and construction workers who whistle?"

    "Can I give you my number?" the man repeated.

    "No," I laughed, shaking my head. "Do you want a muffin?"

    I wouldn't call. I didn't know the man from Adam. I didn't know him from Larry or his brother Darryl, but this other brother Darryl insisted that I take his number when he saw me walk out of the shelter, shouted something indiscernible and knocked on my window.

    It had been a long, tiring Thursday that probably started Tuesday with work, cherry blossoms, and baking. Sunrise. More cherry blossoms. More work. Baseball. Tequila. To kill ya. A midsummer night in mid spring. A friend's birthday.

    By the time Thursday rolled around, my head stopped pretending the ache planned to quit. The meetings didn't help, especially not the one where our benefits dropped and a quarter of the company ended up unemployed. I skipped the "happy hour" for the handful of us that remained and went to a domestic violence shelter to read books to kids.

    Strangely enough, it made me feel better. It made me feel great. We read about rain, put together rain sticks and played with our food. The rain would come soon. I couldn't stop smiling. That's when Darryl saw me walk to my car.

    We hadn't exchanged a single word before he tried to convince me take his number and I tried to convince him to take a muffin. I was slightly more persuasive.
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