If Dante had deigned to create a circle of hell specially made for me, it would be filled with delicious food and the most obnoxious eaters ever born.

They would sluurp their drinks, blech loudly and odoriferously, smack their lips, make those I’m-being-sexually-satisfied sounds as they eat, let their food dribble down their chins, chew with their mouths open, crunch loudly, clank their plates with their forks, click their their teeth against glasses and spoons, slosh the ice and water around in their mouths, swallow audibly, chomp their gum …



if Dante was incredibly clever,

he would only choose one of the above.

And it would only happen intermittently.

Then I am tuned in.

Poised for it.

Focusing hard on not focusing on it.

The new water torture.



if Dante was particularly devious,

It wouldn’t be in a large banquet hall with lots of noise.

It’d be in a quiet, comfortable place — a kitchen, a movie theater, a bookstore.

Or a friggingoramit LIBRARY.

With four friggingoraming GUM CHOMPERS.

Ears blistering. Eyes burning. Jaw clenched. Fingers curling.

Curse them, curse this desk that I’m stuck at, curse me for volunteering in the first place. Curse the devil who invented chewing gum, and all his minions for using it.


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