The Banana Boy

Michael K. Boateng

3/5/20212 min read

A warm light peering through the evergreen flora hits his face. For a moment, he wonders where the light comes from. Is this heat intrinsic to himself, an indivisible component to his being? He turns over. His sweat is dripping from his arms, trickling down his dark buttered skin. His thighs inch back and forth between the patches of light shining through the silos of the leaves. From his side, he sees a bright green-to-black caterpillar crawling in the cool dirt. Is it on a voyage of its own too? His eyes focus. His dark pupils take in the fluid symmetry of the unstructured ratio of lined colors.

Feeling his toes start to fidget, the boy gets up and lays down his orange and yellow polka-dotted kente. He collects his things: one pair of worn-down leather sandals, a red pencil, and three sheets of paper from his exercise book.

He hears the river flowing, it's singing a lullaby. His muscles relax to the tune that leads one to baby blue. He laughs to himself. He is amused by the silliness of his thoughts trying to explain things. His left thigh tightens for a second, a tingling sensation is felt, one leg, two leg, three leg, four leg, five leg, six leg, seven leg, eight leg. He looks down. There he sees Anasi. Breathing slowly, he cuffs the creature as gently as he can, despite the stiffness in his neck. Anasi obliges to his transportation, willingly crawling off his palm into a new direction.

“E ye” the boy hears in his mind, the calming self-assurance of Baba-pan-gea. Through the tall evergreen trees, red-rock mountains, and cool Zephyr winds, Baba-pan-gea speaks. He looks back up at the sky, a pastel, watercolor blue, that befriends all. Twelve, he sees written on his paper. The caterpillar catching his eye again, also at the base of his task. He relieves the tree, pluck, pluck, pluck, wrapping his hand around each ripe, yet still firm fruit. He steps back. His head bowing slightly as if saying grace. ‘These will do.’

Stepping into the light, he slides his coconut oiled feet into his sandals, separating his big toe from the rest, soon to be reunited again at home.

Michael Kyei Boateng is a single-parent raised, Ghanian-American, LGBTQI writer who touches on themes of African mysticism, the fluidity of sexuality, and immigration coupled with cultural commonalities. His experiences as a first generation immigrant and being raised in several countries and class systems have given him the opportunity to witness the nuances of character and bring light and dignity to each experience he writes about.