the us military issues their own brand of chewing gum. it comes with 100mg of caffeine.
my sister gave me a piece. it’s the size of a gumball. i imagine that an inventive soldier, in dire need, could hurl these rock-like sugar pellets at the faces of his enemies. when i first put it in my mouth, i couldn’t believe it was gum because it was like a rock in my cheek.
the rock tasted like cinnamon candy. when my saliva finally crumbled enough of the flavored shell, the sweet cinnamon candy filled my mouth. yet, underneath was a nicotene-like hint of the true purpose of the gum.
she told me that the military issued the gum because soldiers had to go on 72-hour missions, and could not sleep. they could not realistically stop a convoy to allow a soldier to pee, so them that can’t find a spare gatorade bottle had better not drink coffee.
i chewed the gum. i felt my heart racing. i felt taller. i felt stronger. my hands trembled with untapped energy reserves.
the gum soured in my mouth. the sugar wore off. the rubbery remains was like chewing wet cigarette filters mixed with silly putty. perhaps the gum doubles as an emergency adhesive? perhaps the gum is also flammable so it can be used to catch fire and stick.
i spit it out before i could let my hurt burst from the energy. i waited a while, for the crash.
it came. i slept. i dreamed of the undead.