The Time I Wish I Had My Tooth Brush …
You have to picture this moment to understand the gravity of the situation. The time I wish I had my tooth brush was paramount to my chances of ever achieving lift off. Similar, in some ways to He Died with a Felafel in His Hand because tabouli was involved. You know, those turning points in any journey, when push comes to shove and things can go either way. There are seemingly portals into different realities or potentialities, especially when love is involved. It is not that dental hygiene is not high on my list of everyday priorities, rather that occasionally life can get in the way.
Space Travellers & Tooth Brush Lore
It was a typical Sydney day in spring, or was it summer? The smell of jasmine wafted on the slight breeze. I was hungover but that was nothing unusual in my twenties. Life was one long party, and the next exciting instalment was always on the horizon. The inner-city teemed with beautiful people going about their business in a state reckless recreation. Well, that was how it seemed to me. The dental thing was about as far away from my consciousness, as Alpha Centauri. Blue sky, outdoor beer gardens on the harbour foreshore, and the smiles of pretty companions – these were the fixed points on my compass.
The Brushing of Teeth in Youth
Do you know what the best thing about being young is? It is living in your potentiality. You are forever on the cusp of becoming something wonderful, without having to commit to it. Once you actually commit to a career or pathway that is when the magic dies. The possibility of being anything you want is diminished by such behaviour. Getting married is similarly affected by defining your love life in the company of one other individual. Brushing your teeth morning and night rings of the same routine ritual. Where is the spice of life in such predictability?
Late Night Nosh & Healthy Teeth
What do you think about Lebanese food? Do you celebrate the late night falafel roll? Do you have fond memories of a misspent youth in the company of this cuisine of convenience on the streets of Sydney or Melbourne? It was an aromatic marker of my hedonistic years. The smoky tang of baba ghanoush and the smooth texture of humous. The fresh taste of tabouli and the crunch of those fried falafels. Warmed pitta bread wrapped around said fillings like a mother’s love made for mandibles. A diet not unfriendly to healthy teeth. Most of those serving me behind the counter had pretty good teeth, if I remember. Strong teeth in the jaws of vibrant Lebanese people making a quid from their cultural heritage and cuisine.
The time I wish I had my tooth brush was in the midst of all these elements of being young in the city. The orientation of my life being led by the unseen prime directive, which bubbled chemically and hormonally in the fabric of my being. Days and nights bounced along to the tunes of pop songs. Human interactions grazed the surface of my central obsession – myself. These were the golden years fit for princes and princesses to dance the night away. Ingesting substances to feel good above all else. Laughing at jokes old people never seemed to get. Knowing that I was special and that my friends were similarly blessed.
What is love? The young have no time for such questions, they are too busy loving or going through the motions anyway. Fronting up for accidental acts of intimacy on a regular basis was my MO. Trying new things and people in a bid to expand one’s repertoire and breadth of experience was normal. How was I to know that she would turn out to be a dental hygienist? How was I to know that she would be the one? The crisp white uniform and that fresh breath confidence. A smile to launch a spaceship. Sometimes it is like we are comets on a collision course in search of a supernova. I was listening to a lot of David Bowie back then.
Have you ever thought that your tooth brush is shaped like a reclining body with a prominent head? Perhaps, like an interstellar space traveller in cryostasis? A slender form on a journey through time and space. Deep thoughts about things were a common feature of my twenties.
It was not all sensual adventuring in a state of semi-permanent inebriation. Design and form struck me as profound every now and then. Dental hygiene waved to me from across the room. I waved back and took another bite of my felafel roll.
Green things in your teeth at 2am on the streets of the inner-city is never a great look. Even back then in pre-social media days, we still had mirrors and the odd camera. We may not have discussed the amount of pixels in our cameras inside our phones but we had eyes in our heads. Teeth have somehow always been a marker of sexual desirability.
A mouth full of snaggly stained brown chompers could negatively impact upon libido, even in the dark ages. She and I were drawn toward one another like victims of some magnetic force. Oscillations in space gently tugging our carriages in search of docking ports. NASA would have been proud of our orbiting manoeuvres.
Suddenly I was interrupted by Hassim, as his large frame blocked out the view of my impending union. “How was your felafel? Afwan! You betta brush your teeth my friend if you wanna make a good impression. The tabouli in your teeth looks Mukheef!”
Realisation struck me like bird droppings falling from the heavens onto my white shirt. The time I wish I had my tooth brush had arrived in no uncertain fashion. The rocket had launched and decoupling was imminent.
My dental hygienist was upon me and keeping my mouth firmly shut would send the wrong impression. How could I smile and convey my joy at meeting such an attractive person?
Hassim was there again with a glass of water and paper napkins. He immediately ran distraction for me by warmly greeting my dental princess. Meanwhile, I slurped, gargled, and polished my teeth with the serviette. My kingdom for a tooth brush and a spittoon.
A few furious moments later and I looked into the eyes of my future wife. She spotted the odd green spot, I was told in a much later confession, but the intensity of mutual attraction lifted us both together like the Gemini launches at the time. God bless NASA, Lebanon, and dental hygiene.
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