Column for the New York Times Magazine

My children think they can hide their candy consumption from me. But they fail to recognize my tactical advantage: They mistake me for an ignorant grown-up, when I’m actually an eternal preteen. My relationship to sweets has hardly changed since I was their age. Yes, I might eat candy less often now. But once I start, a precise choreography ensues.

The first Gummi bear is the best. After a few chews, the sweetness and acidity hit the tongue, then shoot into the nervous system.

The second one reaches the head and heart, and the third spreads through the entire body. Now would technically be the perfect time to stop.

Oh, the spectrum of colors. I create heavenly chords and progressions.

I eat and eat; the sugar flows; the bag is still assuringly heavy in my hand.

Around the 25 percent mark, I observe that the serving size has drastically increased from one bear to whole handfuls.

The sugar high dissolves into a blunt dullness, like Styrofoam slowly expanding in the space between my skin and bones.

I hate Gummi bears.

There is only one way to make the anguish stop: I must finish the entire pack swiftly and ruthlessly.

I plow through the remainder of the pack in a daze. Only the acidity of the yellow bears can deliver a barely noticeable kick.

I am turning into a Gummi bear — a terrible state that’s topped only by the terror of realizing . . .

. . . that all of a sudden, the pack is empty.

Oh, no!

But wait. The bag seems just a tiny bit too heavy.

One last straggler is hunted down. I’m so delighted that I even
resort to nibbling.

The End.

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