Maytham tells me that when he was a child he saw bananas for sale on street corner in Baghdad. The price equaled one month of his father’s salary. I tell Maytham that one time I saw bananas at Costco for 25 cents a pound.
Maytham tells me that he remembers the first time he tried a banana. His family left Iraq with forged documents, and when they arrived in their new home his father had stocked the fridge with bananas and chocolate. I tell Maytham that I do not remember the first time I tried a banana, and that I’ve been eating them every day since before I can remember.
Maytham tells me that he’s addicted to bananas. He reminds me of an old women who jokes that she’s addicted to chocolate. But I believe him.
I wonder what it must be like to see bananas through Maytham’s eyes. To remember them rare and exorbitant and then ubiquitous and cheap. To describe the relationship with the fruit as an addiction.
Maytham says, “Don’t misunderstand me. We didn’t have bananas. We had everything we needed.” I don’t misunderstand him. It’s not about poverty. I tell Maytham that he probably knows better than me what a banana is truly worth.