I dreamt of you again last night…
I can’t remember the specifics; maybe it was the one where Gene Wilder hands me a pool skimmer to gather rogue gummy bears from that chocolate river of his. Or maybe it was the one where I’m Alex in Flash Dancer, and when I pull the chain, I’m drenched by the powder of a thousand Pixie Stix. Whatever it was, I know it must have been good: I woke up in a puddle of drool and immediately reached for the bag of Skittles on my nightstand. Alas, it was empty.
The man in the white coat breaks the news: I’ll need another three fillings and a root canal. “Moderation,” he says. “I’m trying,” I protest. He must not know the tangy numbness of tongue and invincibility of spirit only achieved by ingesting a two-pound bag of Smarties in a single sitting. I’m sure he’s never swooshed a concoction of Coca-Cola and Circus Peanuts in his mouth until he became convinced he could break through walls with the charisma of the Kool-aid man. I have.
Our highs are incredible. Why must our lows be so inevitable, so intense? Five minutes in the mouth equals thirty swinging from the rafters; then SLAM against the wall; CRASH through the floorboards and THUD, THUD, THUD, fifty feet down. Shivering, I can barely make out a tiny light overhead. I sense I could reach it, but only if I fashion a ladder from these Twizzlers you’ve left for me.
Hard, fluffy, creamy, gummy, coated in a layer of dirt from the floor: I too willingly accept you in all your forms. I’m still traumatized by the Chocolate Room Fiasco of ’07, as are the small children I pushed over on my way to you. And lest we forget the Flinstone Vitamin debacle. Knocking back a whole bottle of tiny cartoon characters is all fun and games until it ends in Ipecac-induced vomiting. Self control? Never my strong suit. Pride? That went the way of my oral health.
Painful as it is, we both knew this day would come. The world of adulthood and vegetables has found me and taken me to a place you don’t belong. I must say adieu mon amour. Remember me fondly, Halloween and art school all-nighters. You’ll understand if I try not to remember you at all. Those thoughts will only take me back to the banks where Oompa Loompas romp, and from there, it’s a dangerously quick trip to my neighborhood bodega where a mere fifty cents buys my one-way ticket to back to you.
Illustration by Jessi Arrington