Our final New Voices entry of the year is here! “A Banana” by Taylor Craven is an absurd, crushing flash about a Banana Horse. The earnestness of the narrator in asserting her banana is a horse compels you to believe her, and to look past the loneliness and crushing lack of self-confidence that live between the lines.
I didn’t want people to pay attention to me. I wanted them to pay attention to my horse. Then maybe they’d forget about me. Think of the free time I would have if I only had to worry about a horse instead of my personality.
I had never seen a banana gallop like a horse, until that day, when I held one in my hand and decided it was a horse, rocking it back and forth on the table, its beautiful yellow coat shining in the shaky fluorescents, oh, the slickest I’ve ever seen. I had taken it from the bowl on top of the fridge, just like the others, but this one was different, for a reason I can’t explain. It was a beautiful and interesting horse, I decided, so that I’d have somebody to keep me company all the time. Much better than a person, yes. Some people keep plants and water them, or tend to vast collections or trash, but I wanted a horse, merely for the fact that I had seen one before. Do you know how they move? Smooth.
I didn’t know much about the horse, or any horse really, but I thought it was impressive that I could know one. I should be grateful. That’s the secret to being happy, I think, so I took pride in it. It was the most valuable thing I had, everything I’d ever wanted, right in front of me. Something living, breathing. This horse had chosen me, and I owed it a full life, whatever that means.
I had no idea how to take care of something so new, so I just stared at it for a while. People like me don’t own horses unless they’re the kind that somebody found in an abandoned barn. But this horse made me feel like I was really somebody, and for that I loved it. I didn’t want people to pay attention to me. I wanted them to pay attention to my horse. Then maybe they’d forget about me. Think of the free time I would have if I only had to worry about a horse instead of my personality.