I was after some red licorice for a special project, didn’t find any, but since I was in a lollyshop, decided to get a big bag of mixed lollies. Moving from one little bin to the next, scooping up a handful of brightly coloured stuff from each, for a moment at least, I felt at one with the universe.
I proceeded to the counter and plonked the paper bag on the scales. The little man looked through my eyes knowingly.
“Do you have any work here sir?”, I asked
“I have unending amounts of work … for the right person.”
“Can that be me? Please.”
“Answer me this. What do you find difficult?”
“Trimming my sideburns. For one, when I look in the mirror and move my hand, in the mirror-world it moves the right way, but in reality it doesn’t. Also it’s really hard to trim them to level.”
“Then you cannot work here.”
“Ah geez, why not?”
“Balance. You lack balance. Much of the work is pre-paring bags of lollies. Here, look.”
He held open the bag I’d chosen and scooped up. It was 90% fizzy things like coke bottles, sour snakes, sherbet bombs and gummi things. The small minority was chocolate; bullets etc.
“But I put some honey bears in”, I pleaded. He said nothing.
In a moment I realised he was right. My destiny lay elsewhere.
Of course the fizzy things are the yummiest, but without the powdery bananas and those big chalky white things that look like tablets — the coke bottle doesn’t even exist. It is defined by the filler – the also-rans in the lollybag of life.
I bowed and backed out of the shop.
I shouldn’t eat all those lollies. I’m so sorry.