WELCOME TO THE FIRST COLLECTIVE POST!
Abby (no “e”) sent me this post as the first of what I hope to be many “collective” posts from readers. If you have some time, stop by her place and check her writing out. You’ll find yourself to be fast friends with her words.
a gobstopper of a gospel
By Abby Barnhart
he was legendary. the fourth-grader they called the jawbreaker. inspiring awe from playground to bus stop, not with a fist but a candy.
some said he’d been working on the same gobstopper for 5 and a half months. a nine-year-old’s eternity. a baseball glove on his nightstand and a juice glass at the dinner table – sedatives to his mother’s persistent fears of choking.
once out of her sight, it was back to the sweet stuff. rumors of the candy’s original size approached mythic proportions.
“i saw him with it once this summer – it was bright green and as big as my fist!”
“i heard it was bigger than his head!”
he didn’t do it for the fame. in an interview immortalized in the elementary school newsletter, the jawbreaker confessed: “i just want to see which flavor is next. it keeps getting better and better.”
curiosity killed the molars, sure. but you can’t deny the insatiable, even when it’s hard.
living hope. body and blood. new birth.
i remember days when these truths seemed easy to swallow. sweet in their marbling of the inexplicable and comforting. the changing perspectives each lending a layer of new flavor to the experience.
i read them again, and they seem to build upon each other with such density that the best attempts to chew them over are returned a chipped tooth.
a dollar-store jawbreaker. bigger than your head.
what i first tasted as a nine-year-old i struggle to get to the core of today. though tough to teethe, it keeps getting better and better.