Picking Candy


IMG_6233My daughter and I looked at candy, lots of candy, trying to decide what to buy before we went to the movies. It’s not easy picking candy. I am particularly fond of candy that contains both chocolate and peanut butter. Chocolate and peanut butter, to my mind, signify the masculine and feminine genders of all sweet things and their union results in the manifestation of sex in my mouth. I didn’t articulate these thoughts about sex and candy to my daughter. She doesn’t need to know everything. None of us do. There were so many choices. Maybe more than a 100 different kinds of candy spread out before us in brightly colored boxes. My daughter held a yellow box of Milk Duds, weighing the treats in her mind against all her other choices. What, she wondered, was the sweetest decision? Somewhere, a 77-year-old man, having two weeks earlier decided to cease dialysis, continued to die slowly as toxins increasingly populated his blood. He lost his appetite. He slept most of the day. When he did manage to stay awake for a few hours, he was restless, congested, and confused. He saw and talked to a host of fantastic people who didn’t exist. He mostly spoke of being afraid to die because of a deeply entrenched fear that his life was a waste. What had he accomplished? Had the world improved at all due to his presence? Not at all. These were the thoughts that preoccupied him as his body poisoned itself to death. He wanted a cigarette. My daughter considered Skittles. Not being chocolate, though, she put them back. It’s not easy picking candy. Perhaps you imagine a child’s choice of candy before a movie as something of little consequence, beside the point. But the fact is that the causes and conditions that circled the globe and beyond erupted right then and it—her choice, the candy in her hand—served as a bridge to the entire future of the whole ball of wax. It could not have happened any other way than the way it so wondrously did. “Is that what you want?” I asked. She nodded, she smiled, and clutched the candy to her chest. Then, hand-in-hand, we sauntered into the dimly lit theater with our sweets to find our seats, ready to enjoy the whole show. Somewhere, an oddly curious boy, obsessed with the subtle difference between when it was raining and not raining, remained on the alert to witness the space between the weather’s change. The downpour eventually slowed to a lumbering pitter patter and finally to a drip drip… drip until the little boy heard, straining, on the edge of his seat, the last raindrop—drop—and then nothing.

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