gummy bears

Joe is almost 3. When he pees in the toilet, he gets to pick out one gummy bear. If he poops in the toilet (which is never?) he gets 2. Good job.

Joe is 12 and in middle school. His English teacher hands him back his test, if paper is still a Thing. He’s gotten an A. Class is dismissed. He sits waiting for his gummy bear.

Joe is 23 and has completed his first assignment at his post-college job, if college is still a Thing. His boss tells him great work. Good job. He holds out his hand for his gummy bear. The boss slaps it, like it’s a five.

Joe is 34 and cooks dinner for his wife, takes out the trash, stands beaming in front her. Thank you, she says. Gummy Bears, he asks?

Joe is 43 and is going through a valley of life, in which he doesn’t know who is anymore, or what he is or what he wants. He sits on the couch, surrounded by gummy bears, they bring him comfort but he isn’t sure why, he puts one in his mouth, and weirdly, he pees.

Joe is 52. I’m 90. He comes to visit me on my deathbed. Tenderly, he sits next to me. Tells me he loves me, and that I’ve been a wonderful mother. Good job, I say. I give him a gummy bear.

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