love. week thirty one.

date. 2021

city. new york city

June 24

One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that the world had been changed into a delightful candy shop. He lay in his cotton-candy pajamas and saw, as he lifted his head up a little, that his brown, sturdy bed was now made entirely of Hershey’s chocolate bars. From this height the candy-button blanket, just about ready to slide off completely, could hardly stay in place.

 

‘What’s happened,’ he thought. It was no dream. His room, a proper room for a human-sized Gummy Bear, only somewhat too small, lay glistening between the four graham cracker walls. Above the table, on which an unpacked collection of sample lollipops was spread out (Samsa was a traveling salesman) hung the picture which he had cut out of an illustrated magazine a little while ago and set in a pretty licorice frame. It was a picture of a woman with a donut hat and marshmallow gloves. She sat erect there, lifting up in the direction of the viewer a bucket of popcorn into which her entire forearm disappeared.

 

Gregor’s glance then turned to the window. The dreary weather (the gum drops were falling audibly down on the caramelized window ledge) made him quite melancholy. ‘Why don’t I keep sleeping for a little while longer and forget all this foolishness,’ he thought. But this was entirely impractical, for he was used to sleeping in his silk PJs, and in his present state he couldn’t get himself to relax. No matter how soft the cotton-candy jammies were, he kept nibbling off small chunks of it in his nervous state. He must have tried it a hundred times, closing his eyes, so that he would not have to see the candy cane lamp or the Gumball light bulb, and gave up only when he began to feel a light, dull pain in his side which he had never felt before.

 

‘O God,’ he thought, ‘what a demanding job I’ve chosen! Day in, day out on the road. The stresses of trade are much greater than the work going on at head office, and, in addition to that, I have to deal with the problems of traveling, the worries about train connections, irregular bad food, temporary and constantly changing human relationships which never come from the heart. To hell with it all!’ He felt a slight itching on the top of his abdomen. He slowly pushed himself on his back closer to the nougat filled bed post so that he could lift his head more easily, found the itchy part, which was entirely covered with Nutella (he did not know what to make of that), and wanted to feel the place with a leg. But he retracted it immediately, for the contact felt like maple syrup all over him.

 

He slid back again into his earlier position. ‘This getting up early,’ he thought, ‘makes a man quite idiotic. A man must have his sleep.