untitled, pg 3

The next day, after the letter, I am carrying my oversized water jug into the bathroom again.  It’s Saturday morning so I’m getting up late and there aren’t consequences.  That’s a great feeling.

And there I am brushing my teeth in absolutely no fashion at all.  Sometimes I wonder if that’s why I had so many cavities when I was young, even though I brushed my teeth three times a day.  At the dentist, they’d even give me these diagrams of how to brush my teeth with little suction cups to hang on the bathroom mirror.  So I hung it there, and I’d stare at it as I brushed my teeth every morning – move head of toothbrush in circular motion, with an accompanying picture.  And I’d stare at it and still I would be erratically running my toothbrush every which way until I reckoned time was up and would spit, rinse, and be set.  I suppose that now most my teeth have been filled, I don’t have the same prospect of rotting teeth.  So the next time I’ll be at the dentist and there the assistant will have his hands all up in my mouth asking me about my day, my summer of course, my “phase” of life that I’m in, but it’s somewhat of an art that he’ll ask me questions that I can answer with a poorly articulated “annggggh”, which he then has to make sense of.  Every part of the dentist is shameful, whether it’s opening my mouth so he can see the several cavities lining my molars or that his hands are in my mouth and drool is dribbling down the corners of my mouth and I want to wipe it, or ignore it, or be like “Yeah I’m drooling because your hand is in my mouth because I’m at the dentist and annggggh.”

But listen.  I was brushing my teeth this morning and this tooth, it just falls out.  It’s the one that’s like, my bottom right (if we’re thinking stage right in a sense), maybe three teeth off from the center two.  It’s the one that’s a little pointy.  Are your teeth the same?  Well perhaps yours is pointy too.

It wasn’t loose or anything, it was just there and then suddenly it wasn’t.  It was a little bloody when it came out but nothing gushing.  I was just half-awake and brushing at random surfaces in my mouth and suddenly, I was brushing at gums and my tooth is lolling around in my mouth awkwardly.  So I spit it out onto my hand, in a mixture of saliva, a little blood, and minty toothpaste.  And I really look at it.  How do they get bigger?  I remember there was this whole phenomenon of teeth when you’re six or seven.  They all gonna come out, and I’d spend evenings wiggling one at a time, pulling on them with a lasso made of floss.  And then my “baby teeth” were freed and we’d keep them safe in an Altoids tin, and then I experienced this new growth, my “adult teeth” poking through the gums again.  And that’s it, there’s no more, you just get that one chance.

Man, did I mess up?  Is there a second chance?  I’m staring at this messy goopy pile in my hand still.  Really, how does someone even mess this up?

In the afternoon, I went to the drugstore around the corner and bought a tin of Altoids.  As I was walking out of the store and unwrapped the plastic sheath, I opened up the tin and dumped them all into the garbage.  Then I took the tooth from my pocket, place it rightfully into the Altoids tin, then walked home.

The End

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