Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The worst feeling.

I've always thought that the photos in Robert Frank's 'The Americans' were incredible representations of raw human emotion. Visualizations of happiness, sorrow, wonder, hate, hopelessness...Each page a deep window into the human soul.

I guess you could say that this photo is a pretty good representation of one of my least favorite feelings in the world... A gumless depression. Allow me to explain:

Each time my parents go down to the States, they ask me if they should bring me anything from across the border. Each time, I have one request and one request only: Fruit Stripe gum. Both the green (chewing) and the pink (bubble) kinds. Many, many packages.
You see, Fruit Stripe gum is very, very difficult to obtain in Canada, and I do believe that up to 50% of my soul is built of the stuff.

My heart leaps into my throat when they hand me a heavy paper bag upon their return.
I open the top of the bag and inhale the sweet air... I would imagine this is what heaven must smell like.
I eat them in rhythmic order, the pink, green, red flavors before the orange, yellow, blue, and purple flavors. One stick at a time, evenly pulling them from the paper sleeves so that the packages never have a surplus of a certain flavor.
I plaster my arms in the fake tattoos that come on the wrappers. It is a rare treat to find one that hasn't been cut in half during the manufacturing process, and I keep a small collection of wacky zebras surfing, skateboarding, dunking basketballs long after the gum is gone.
With obsessive vigor, I chew and chew until eventually, there is only one stick of each flavor left.
I have heard stories of parents being stuck in some sort of emergency situation where they must choose between their children, and I guess that this is what I feel when I get to this point. The joy is most certainly over. As each piece disappears, a piece of me dies.
For months after the gum is gone, I will occasionally pull out one of the saved wrappers and adorn my hand with a zebra playing t-ball, just for the memories. I always thought that it was just a sugar-comedown, but I now believe that the ending of my hard-to-obtain gum sends me into some sort of true gumless depression (spell check keeps telling me that 'gumless' is not a real word).

I guess what I am trying to say is- can anyone hook me up with more Fruit Stripe? Help a brother out? I've got the shakes, man.

All my love (even if you don't send me the gum),
~sarah p.

p.s. The little zebra on the package is called 'Yipes'. If that ain't cute, I don't know what is.


Anonymous said...

you're so adorable...

~sarah p. said...

Thanks, pal.