Teeth

You know, I remember that morning, the day my teeth got ruined. They weren’t so much broken as cracked, back then, fissures I could tongue at, and feel a variety of unpleasant sensations. I remember that morning, because my teeth seemed the least of my injuries. I’d had to crawl up the stairs, with my feet all purple underneath. I thought my soles might just split, if I put any weight on them. So I crept to the shower and curled up in the spray—I’ve always found warm water soothing. I went in there and I slept for a while, and I woke up all pruney.

My teeth, though. I was talking about my teeth. I got hungry after my nap. I got out of the shower and went through to the kitchen, and I was looking forward to a grapefruit. Food’s one of those pleasures, no matter what else is on your plate, there’s always room for a bite. And it’ll always be good, always be comforting. Especially something like grapefruit, that goes down so cool.

So I sat by the window and I cut open my grapefruit, and I spooned up that first bite. And my whole mouth exploded in agony, and the betrayal, dear God! I had to wait for my breakfast to warm up, and even then, it hurt to eat. Not only was it sore, it got worse with every bite, as the acid settled in. I kept eating, because I still wanted sugar, but my whole jaw was throbbing by the time I got through.

It got better, with time. I think the roots died off. The roots of my teeth, I mean, so I couldn’t feel much pain. I’d get a twinge, here and there, a miserable dull ache, but it got so it was just part of eating. Nibble and a pinch, sort of thing.

My back teeth are mostly gone. I’ve got bits of them, still, jagged peaks sticking up at odd angles. They cut my cheeks in the night. I eat with caution, careful not to swallow any pieces. I’ve still got those mercury fillings, back from when I was a kid. I’m not sure I want those in my guts.

My front teeth are starting to hurt now. Most of them are chipped. The decay, see, it spreads. You can brush religiously, go at it after every snack, but with holes in your mouth, and crevasses, there’s always bacteria somewhere.

Now, wasn’t that disgusting? I guess what I’m wanting to say is, be nice to people with meth mouth. Imagine bread crusts were your nemesis. Think how it feels to chew a steak, that satisfying toughness, and think, if you couldn’t have that. Oh, I miss French bread.

Then again, don’t be nice, if you don’t mean it. Nobody cares what you think.

(If you’re nice to me, in particular, I might just stop talking about my teeth.)

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