The Gumball

Graphite Admin


I guess I am a father, except—I think the baby may not be mine, because I’ve never had sex, and because the baby is not a human. Last night, Jessica and I were at the Hollywood Theater, the one just slightly underneath the ground of San Diego. We watched most of a romantic comedy titled I Chews You, which was about two animated—as in living as well as in moving computer graphics —pieces of bubble gum who fall in love with each other on a rainy night. It is, in fact, the rain which wakes up the bubble gum, the rain which transforms gum and gum from two flat, lifeless sticks abandoned at a bus stop to animate matter quivering in each others’ presence. It is the rain that gives individuated personhood to pieces of bubble gum—at least insofar as this film is concerned—and, remarkably, the very first gesture performed by these pieces of bubble gum as they come to life is to obliterate the very difference that separates the two into separate beings. As they get soggy and fall in love with each other, the pieces of gum approach each other for a kiss, which, given that they have no mouths or faces or anything of the sort, proceeds as a merging- together of their whole bodies, which at the end transforms them into a single wad of gum, unrecognizable as a multiplicity save for the fact that it is twice as large as a single-sticked wad. This was how the movie began. From then on out, I Chews You followed the life of the wet wad. In one scene, it runs into trouble with the sun, drying and cracking in its heat—in another scene, which might have been the lead-up to the climax, the wad runs into trouble from internal conflict, its integrity as a wad threatened by the occasional urge of its component parts to separate from one another, to re individuate into two separate wads of chewed-up bubble gum. I’m not sure how that conflict ended, because as it was playing out, Jessica let out a blood-curdling scream there in that movie theater. I didn’t know what to do as she sat next to me, violently gripping her armrests, raising her legs up on the seat in front of her, and throwing her head back in extreme pain. I think I’m having a fucking baby! , she screamed, which was highly startling in itself as well as because we had never had sex in the five years we had dated each other, and, additionally, because in those five years Jessica had never shown any visible signs that would suggest pregnancy. Bullets of sweat were dripping off of her body, so many that the floor of the movie theater was soon covered in an eighth of an inch of sweat. Here it comes! she yelled, and out of her vagina slowly emerged a gigantic pink gumball.