true confessions of a gum fiend

Oh god dear reader I’m sorry my proofreading is so shit. I suppose I’m just not one of those people that can do that. I made all kinds of excuses for myself, like my fingers not being good at targeting the keys accurately or being hampered by the size of this little box that I type into but really it’s just me.
If education is the new Church then I thank the local cathedral for not accepting me for their job. I’m no good at it and somehow they had the divine foresight to know it boo-hoo, boohoo, o god thankyou.
The truth is editing and fixing up mistakes, mine or other people’s bores the fuck out of me, and that’s why I don’t do it good.

I have a confession to make. Considering the painful detail in to which I retell the pathetic nothingness of my life on this here website, you’d probably be surprised to know there’s something I haven’t been letting on about for the last 16 or 17 months. Probably shame is why.

I chew gum. Bubble gum because aspartame scars the brain, but that’s another story. Hubba-bubba.
It started off a bit before the end of first semester, last year. In off-campus anchorite mode I’d get out of bed, eat a meagre breakfast then sit down here to write assignments only to find that by 11am I’d be very near to dozing off.

Caffiene? Of course that was always around but it wasn’t having any effect at all anymore. Somehow I got the idea to chew some gum, remembering that the motion of the jaw helped to keep blood flowing through the brain.
It worked. It wasn’t like some hallelujah Praise Be thing, because at that stage I was still smoking and would also duck outside for a fag which kept the blood pressure up. After I gave them up I found I was chewing a lot more.
I joked to some friends who came to visit that I thought my jaw muscles would grow enormous and mishapen, like Popeye. I was secretly very worried about this, but it didn’t happen.
Through the dark dead drag of winter and semester two I countinued with the Hubb-bubba — strawberry, apple, vanilla-cola, even blueberry when I could lay my hands on some.

I’d do stuff like incise it into two parts in my mouth, then chew in stereo so my jaw wouldn’t ache from lop-sidedness. I’d squish it into the gaps between my teeth and drag it through with my tongue. I thiink this is why there is now a visible gap between my top two front teeth, where there never was. I’d blow the odd bubble too, but mostly it was about the chewing.

It got so that one piece wasn’t enough. I’d only start out with one, but a few hours later I’d chuck a second bit in. I’d mix flavours… all kinds of shit.
I’d tell myself it because I didn’t want to get diabetes from all the sugar, but I started taking the gum out of my mouth and putting it back on its little peice of wax paper. This would only be when I had to do something as unavoidable as eating. Then … o the shame … I’d pick up the gum and starting chewing it again. The truth is, these are the bizarre and unhealthy kinds of habits that emerge when something as heinous as a gum-habit goes unchecked.

Things like this spread into my external, social life. I noticed that eventhough I was always at it when I was out, I’d never offer anyone else a piece, ‘If you wanted some, you’d get you own’, I’d think. Sitting on the dead-quiet but rather full (don’t ask; Geelong people are just like that) morning bus out to uni, chewing well-hard, two-day old gum… I’d work it up warm enough to get a bubble on, blow it and CRACK! — it’d pop like a Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band Snare drum, unsettling my dead-eyed peers in the process. It was my way of saying, Fuck You society, Fuck You Geelong, Fuck You Deakin Uni. Sociopathic is what they call it.

There’s this Jerry Seinfeld bit about how it’s basically impossible to chew gum and not look belligerent at the same time. It wasn’t until I saw someone else chewing gum in class that this occurred to me. I chewed in lectures and tutes all the time. No wonder no one approached me to say hello.
Plus there was these things I was totally unaware of, like when I had to say something for more than a sentence or two, I’d actually pop the gum out, wrap it in its little bit of paper and stuff it in my pocket. Then pull it back out ten mintues later.

I’m still chewing, there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m chewing right now. I’m conscious of it. I think about it a lot.
Lately I’ve been thinking that, see, I used to have this perception of myself as having a very low threshold of amusement. It means that I can be amused by very small or simple things for an abnormally long time.
But it turns out I’m wrong.

The reality of the situation as I understand it, at this point in time, is that I’ve no idea what bores me and what doesn’t. I’m like one of those freaks who has no sense of pressure-touch in their skin nerves. Put me in a black box, turn me upside down and I wouldn’t know it. It’s like that with me and interest.
I experience no sensation as to whether something is interesting or boring. People can talk me me into thinking something is interesting — and I’ll go along with it — this happens all the time. In fact, there’s undoubtedly many things I’ve done in the past that I’ve thought were interesting but were actually really boring. Hindsight provides no clarity. There is no learning from trial and error. No progress. A flat line all the way out.
This pursuit and you, reader, bore me to death. How can I be sure this isn’t true?

I’m going to take the gum out of my mouth. If oxygen stops getting to my brain and my head falls dead onto the keyboard, then I guess you’ll figure it out. mhn uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuubnj bnm bnmfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffcr

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