letter to a dentist
Dear Joanne .. may I call you that? You should perhaps look to the end of this note to re-acquaint yourself with the writer.
You removed about eleven of my teeth three years ago and replaced them with an apparatus. I left your surgery not quite edentulous though seriously numb and with a plastic shield covering my palate. That old friend, the one that once signaled to the throat that a series of constrictions may be required as the Wagyu went down.
Gone now, that seat of taste. That fine stretched membrane of ribbed flesh over the roof of the mouth that resonated the foodly incomings to all the senses .. the soft pestle of muscled tongue. Imagine an oyster slowly being squeezed to paste up there. Pushed into all the gaps between the teeth.
Dear Joanne, I miss the oysters.
A couple of nights back when three friends visited one of them came up with a grand idea, this was rather late in the evening and all the ladies had retired. We had the book-lined study, the cognac and the dark chocolate. The inverted pipe.The green smear of hashish.
Imagine Joanne, filling your mouth with dark chocolate and letting it warm up in there. Soften and glue up all over the back of your teeth and your tongue, and most importantly – your palate. Then half a tumbler of cognac. Swish. Swish. Swallow.
Joanne, that too.
We all have to go to meetings and sometimes there is a lunch provided. A plate of mixed sandwiches or suburban sushi. An oversized crusty bread-roll filled with delicacies from the local fast-food cornucopia. Then we sit and eat and talk and everybody gets to see the insides of each-others’ mouths, you have to open them that wide to jam an end of one of these things inside.
This is ok for them Joanne, but have you heard the term ’embedded ?’ This is what the bottom set of your teeth didn’t do last week. I still think of them that way. You know I tasted your perfume on the last day I left the surgery.
The knowledge is to check that the apparatus your profession so proudly installs stays put when challenged Joanne, because there was a small ivory clatter as the bottom denture fell away onto the boardroom table upon withdrawal of the crusty loaf. Wherein it was embedded.
Everybody looked over at me. That was ok though because I have a beautiful half-smile.
So it’s thanks for that, Joanne.