While in a training on mental health, I felt my eyelids growing heavy. I could barely resist the urge to let them fall shut just for a few minutes. The struggle to stay awake was intense and I was losing.
Just as I gave in and let my head drop forward, the presenter started to pass out pink foil chocolate hearts. She scattered a handful on each table and graciously declared a chocolate break for all.
After ten minutes, most of the crowd had reassembled with the smokers and vending machine patrons still straggling in when our generous presenter restarted on the thrilling topic of depression.
Yet again, drowsiness crept over me. A few pieces of candy remained on the table in front of me, just a little less tempting than taking a nap underneath of the table. The nap was not going to happen so I began my plans to eat the one closest to me and maybe the one next to it, too.
Wait, I pulled my hand back from little hearts that I was a second away from capturing. I remembered in a fleeting moment of self-control a pack of nuts in the front pocket of my bag. That would be a healthier option than post-Valentine’s Day discount chocolates.
Be stealthy, I told myself. I didn’t want to draw any more attention to myself than my intermittent dozing may have already done.
I reached down into the front pocket where I was certain the nuts awaited me and grabbed something that was not the sealed plastic bag I expected.
Whatever it was that I grabbed was cool and slimy.
And oh so organic, I thought as I pulled out what I suspected to be a decomposing banana.
It was completely black and starting to shrink into a little mummified fruit corpse.
More surprises were to follow on my return from the trash can.
In my brief absence, my neighbor had gathered up the remaining chocolates into a pile, including the ones that I had been eyeing, and scooped them into her purse.
On second check of the former-banana pocket, there were no nuts.
There were never any nuts.
Only the lingering smell of a rotten banana remained.