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Really, we would love to have you stay but we would feel rude about that as we have left. As in gone, defunct, kaput. We aren't here anymore. Sometimes, when it's late and we are worried about dying, we do believe in reincarnation. So, maybe we will live again. We'll let you know if that happens.


The Dentist by Nathan Long

Becoming adult meant no longer having our teeth inspected daily by our father.

After we brushed our teeth, our father would inspect our work. We came up to his chair in the living room and opened our mouths before him. If he saw food between our teeth, he would send us back. Otherwise, he would run his closely cut fingernails against a tooth and see if there was tartar build up. His fingers were large and rounded at the end, his fingernails curved identically with the skin. Tufts of hair sprouted between each joint and I remember thinking how I never wanted hands like that.

“Look at that,” he would say with disappointment, if he found residue under his nail, and he would march us back to brush again.

I recently went to the dentist and he scolded me for not flossing enough. Now I do it every night, and as I stick my large hands in my mouth in front of the bathroom mirror, I think of my father—if only he had made us floss daily.

1 comment:

Supremo said...

When I flossed last night I thought about you and your dad. I also looked at the hair on my knuckles after I was done flossing. Then I gave my hairy knuckles a little trim.