T. Guzman

Gummy Bears—Things Necessary and Unnecessary

+++++Separation is necessary.
+++++But not really necessary.
+++++In that way that some things are.
+++++You must get out of bed. Remember to wash your hair. Brush your teeth, one minute top, one minute bottom. Look into the fridge and check the expiration dates of eggs and milk. Make a list. Apples and oranges and bananas. Let people know where you’ll be so they don’t think you’re dead. Text every once in a while. Maybe.
+++++This isn’t that sort of thing.
+++++It’s forks and knives and spoons. A thing of ease. Dedicated compartments shaped in outline of their intended recipient. The world will not end if you don’t. Nothing hinges on your peculiarities. You don’t have that kind of hubris.
+++++In the first apartment you ever lived in, you never bought one of those compartments.
+++++Kept every utensil in a Ziploc baggie.
+++++Intermingled.
+++++Contained so that when you opened the drawer it wouldn’t make that scraping noise that gave you headaches. You were happy in that apartment. Even when you weren’t. The planes that flew over every thirty minutes became a thing you missed. The way all conversations stopped organically at their approach, starting back up again after they passed with hardly a nod or look of recognition. Annoyance passed into the unnoticed.
+++++Green, Yellow, Orange.
+++++In that order.
+++++Red or White last. Under most situations, the difference is negligible. A matter of mood. Time of day. White in the sunlight, Red in the wind. The shift in the pressure of your joints as the clouds come.
+++++Waiting.
+++++For the apartment to flood. For the rain and muck and slip to back up the old ceramic pipes, breeched by tree roots planted too close or maybe not too close long ago when they were planted, but too close now. The gray. The indecisiveness in the air—humidity and sirens. Put all your things on top of other things you don’t mind getting wet. Light a candle for each room. Then assuming White is grape flavored, and Red is Cherry or Strawberry, White first then Red. But in the case that White is Pineapple, Red being in this case Raspberry, one of each is preferable, though this will deplete the supply faster and may not last the night. An alternating order is also acceptable.
+++++It’s not really all that important.
+++++Whims and fancy.

+++++Green must be eaten first.
+++++First because Green is objectively garbage, tasting nothing like lime which is itself an undesirable flavor, but at least recognizable—sweet and dull with an aftertaste of uninspired that only ever reaches heights of unpleasant when eaten in succession. Like dark matter, Green is only definable by what it is not—its effects on the bodies that surround it. It must be endured. Days without potable water. Trees on power lines, on houses and cars. The busses never come no matter how long you wait. You’ve given up on the metro and walk. Miles across food deserts expanded by downed grid and cash only and who carries cash among these unpaved sidewalks littered with old McDonald’s cups and redlining. The chill never leaves you, bathing in the cold for weeks. Your core temperature is permanently lowered because everything is transitory, and overtime, if you find that Green, in an act that feels alchemic in nature, becomes something you enjoy eventually equal to that of Red or White, your bewilderment is justified. Repetition and enjoyability are counter intuitive.
+++++It’s okay to be disturbed by this.
+++++It’s, in fact, disturbing.
+++++Time plays a factor.
+++++Continue the order Green, Yellow, Orange.
+++++The guilt of enjoying Green will fade.
+++++Yellow and Orange, no matter how much you consume, will always be mediocre.
+++++The world makes very little sense.

+++++The ratios may be off.
+++++It is a flaw that happens.
+++++Most of the time worrying about this is unnecessary. Quality control is, for the most part, consistent. Yes, there will be occasions when there are too many Yellows. Oranges for days. Reds few. Whites nonexistent. Greens, Greens, Greens, everywhere so that you’re certain mistakes were made. Unlike clothing, the inspector is never listed. It is not something you can track. There is no way of knowing. Perhaps, it’s a matter of sleep. Maybe, they lie awake on the futon in the living room for hours and hours waiting. Perhaps, once they’ve finally drifted off, the apartment shudders. The pots and pans and glasses and bowls clink. Rattle. Their roommate emerges from their room. You are awake again. You can’t explain the unexplainable. Earthquake. Planes flying too low and off course. How are you to know? Translucent packaging is to be sought after, but the unexpected cannot be prepared for. If you must move from color to color eating till the ratio is satisfactory, knowing that you will leave at least one color with an extra or two—asymmetry being desirable in certain circumstances—do not be alarmed.
+++++Do what must be done.
+++++Small acts of control are not something to be concerned about.
+++++When you were younger, you read about walking meditation from a book you purchased from Disney World. Read on the returning flight. The woman next to you desiring your window seat, craning her neck forward and over many times to see the expanse of clouds and blue. The gridded landscape. Plots of rectangles. Trapezoid. The odd triangle, obtuse.
+++++To go through like a thread in a loom.
+++++Taking full breaths before each step. Walking in circles, in long lines, back and forth. There are twenty-four steps from the sink to your room that you never go into. Eleven to the futon. Five from the front door. You read the greatest of monks, spending their entire life in the practice, were able to adapt this so that life was spent in near perpetual nonthinking, awareness entirely in the present action. Their hands are wet as they wash the rice. The grains minuscule, individual. The sun is warm in the garden. Scent of earth and moisture. The ground is firm underfoot.
+++++Everything around them passes without judgment, affect.
+++++Do they ever have to put things on top of other things?
+++++When the room shudders, are they concerned?
+++++Their robes heavy.
+++++Bodies reduced of all that is superfluous.
+++++You will consider this as you eat each one.
Green, Yellow, Orange, in that order.

T.Guzman writes, and does things in general. MFA student at Northern Michigan University. Hopes to one day be a robot. Splits time between the UP and Southern California. Tweets @t_guzman

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