I remove the little piece of childhood from the wrapper and slowly place it on my tongue. The slight sting that occurs is different from what I remember as a child. I remember it tasting different back then, yet having it in my mouth – no matter what the taste – takes me back about 20 years to when I didn’t know the things that I know now. I walk through the halls with a jauntier step than usual…as I pop little baby bubbles between my teeth. I don’t know why it makes me feel like frolicking and dancing and skipping…but it does. The affect that this tiny strip of sap and sugar has upon my mood is indelible; it’s as if I have stepped back in time. I am walking with a bounce, chewing my gum, humming a tune from a song I heard on the radio in the car this morning on my way to work. I come upon my much older boss…well she’s at least in her mid-forties…and she is also chewing gum. I see that familiar glint in her eye and that extra bounce in her step, and I know that she knows. And it irritates me.