Peanut butter, jelly, and free association

I don’t like peanut butter,
or peanuts.
I used to tell everyone I was allergic-
my mom even went along with it,
so that if they gave candy prizes at school
for some demeaning game
and I won
I wouldn’t be penalized with a snickers bar.

The year I was in a clinical psych graduate program
(the only year)
I had a small packet of unsalted, shelled peanuts
I kept in my desk-
for  the times when I would get very hungry.
And I would eat one or two,
and then stop.
Because no matter how hungry I was,
they were always so profoundly disappointing.
dry, and abhorrent
as grade based averages in diagnostic assessments
which construe youth as a disorder
and reveal age to be a condemnation.
(age has always been a condemnation)
In the end,
it was more pleasant to feel hungry.

Now, jelly!
Jelly is a gem.
Jelly is the foil
to my seething cognitive dissonance
as I eat the damn sandwich
anyway.

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2 thoughts on “Peanut butter, jelly, and free association

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