• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 03
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Hubba Bubba

We all travel in time, an obvious super power. Zipping from then to now in an encyclopaedic flight from birth to death. Recall every fact you know: those hundred words for snow. Taste each flake of flavour on your tongue. Love's aches and labour's lost ‘n won. Eyes melt in love's euphoric sorrow: sift, filter, steal, borrow! Only memory can say it all and make up more to face tomorrow. Overwritten year by year, autobiographies are so sincere but who bares witness to make truth clear?

First crush, her teenage sighs, in dreams she'd seen his face a hundred times. Across the years in tricks of light, minty chewing gum chat-up line. Silhouette standing, cigarette sucked. He'd changed SO much, hair receded, gaunt, still fit. Weathered skin leather, aged by clever charm and wit. Feathered nests, neither disgust nor embraced, just want pursued, whilst staying chaste.

Not too furrowed in the social race, he turns. His eyes pierce through her face. Fixed gaze, past erased. His own awareness now a-flame. Time slows their action’s frame. "Heeey! Julia? Hubba-Bubba!? Wow! It IS you. Good God you're well preserved." No longer unnerved her smile purred - nine lives inferred. Reduced to childhood they stood, stepping back into their neighbourhood.

All summer heat and emptiness. Every teenage blue-sky-day she'd lain - staring outward, upward to absorb the golden sun's lit orb. Scudded trails of wisp, dispelled by aeroplane’s criss-crossing, cracking heaven’s vast blue reign. Yet her thoughts were not up there with dreams of cirrus-cloud, but down, deep inside herself. Every blue obscene, could be anywhere and is anywhere you choose to be. Year on year she'd lie and stare, sometimes re-living her school-girl hair.


Hubba Bubba

Hubba-Bubba was the name he’d assigned her. Humiliation and pride combined. As champion gum-fiend he drew the crowds and blew them big. She'd watch in awe. Freckles, dimples and popularity, fuelled her bravery. Close friends knew, he did too, for sure, her blush sent light across the gaming court. Thoughts jarred, the day he swaggered across the school yard. Holding out the stick of pure Hubba-Bubba, "Come on Rapunzel, the challenge is on!"

Silver wrapper kept forever, she chewed to cheers and blew a whopper. The bubble-gum bubble expanded fast. Skies obscured, face concealed by the shadow it cast. In her ears the playground clapped. Success to win his heart entrapped. Yet boys do not think quite the same and his next move was a tad insane.

Jubilance and jealousy, perhaps a fear to lose his sphere of followers and adoration. He lunged with muscular dexterity to re-gain his reputation, bursting her bubble and her pink infatuation.

Merciless, the bubble burst. Peppermint cloud adhered to hair and skin around.

She ran embarrassed and fled the fame, leaving only empty blame. Smelling minty Hubba-Bubba still takes her back in time forever. Arriving home she felt the pain, bubble-gum hair-cut, too short to braid.

She stares and breathes, voice so tame. “I recall your gum … forgot your name.”