A four-year-old white boy with blond hair and blue eyes stands with his nose almost touching the thick glass. On the other side of the candy store window a stainless steel machine hums as it leisurely moves. The machine on display in the window has two sets of shiny arms. From each of the machine’s arms two long ridged fingers extend and turn within the same space like the machine is slowly twiddling it’s thumbs.
I’ve been watching the taffy-pulling machine for several minutes. Its repetitive motion has me hypnotized. Time after time the long steel fingers stretch the taffy. I jump back, startled, as an iridescent green fly lands on the taffy. The fly stands still and rubs his feet together unaware of the danger around him. He seems very much aware of the possibility of a feast. I watch, spellbound as the machine catches the fly and folds it into the taffy. The taffy now has a moving, struggling dark lump encapsulated. Next time around the fly parts spread out over two or three inches the struggling has ceased. I continue to watch as the line of fly parts in the taffy become a long dark brown line. Wide-eyed and fascinated I’m glued to the window as the bright metal machine folds and refolds the candy. Five minutes pass and now the fly exists as a thin brown line throughout every fold of the taffy. I watch as the brown line pales. Fold within fold until at last the stain of fly parts disappears. A man comes and removes the taffy from the pulling machine.