Supermarkets used to be my playground.

I didn’t bounce, twirl, or run as I normally did.
I controlled my pace with all sensory receptors turned on HIGH.

When I first moved to LA, I was too young to start kindergarten so I frequently went to the supermarket with my mom. While she shopped, I quietly snuck away to gaze at rows and rows of colorful boxes: cereals, cookies, frozen foods, and candy. My mom usually didn’t allow me to get any junk food so I liked to imagine what things might actually taste like by looking at the packaging.

I was especially mesmerized by the depictions of gushers, that showed chubby jelly-bean like chewy candies that were squirting a viscous liquid, usually forest green, blood red, or purplish blue. Because of their gem-like appearance I thought they would contain delightful flavor.

Once, I did finally coax my mother into buying me my first box. It was a huge let down. The bursting of the liquid was not as exciting but rather jolting and the texture of the exterior was not chewy enough. I also decided that the dark colors were too dark…morbid!

After that first time, I’ve never gone back. But now I wonder if it’s time to give it a second chance…

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