I used to have this dream I was choking on chewing gum, just this thick, sticky string stretching out from my throat. I’d pull it and pull it and there’d always be more, endless Hubba Bubba.
I’d wake up from that dream and feel sick for a while, and I thought it was all in my head. A phantom sensation tucked up in my gullet. These days, though, it’s always there. I can feel it where my tonsils are, mostly on the left, gagging me like a bone.
It reminds me of the time I half-swallowed a hair. I couldn’t suck it down and I couldn’t pull it out, and it was tangled there, tied around my tongue. It took several minutes to draw it forth, and it was the worst feeling ever, like coughing up a tapeworm.
Internet, man, I’m so tired of the gum. I dream of dissolving it, though it’s not real. I read, once, how Beethoven poured his ears full of acid, hoping to clear out the wool. I’ve tried drinking vinegar. Gargling with salt. Spraying in lidocaine to numb out the tickle, ondansetron for the nausea, honey for the pain.
Nothing dislodges it.
Nothing kills the itch.
Maybe it’s a tonsil stone. Maybe it’s just stress.
Go away, chewing gum. Go away.