imaginary outfit: some love lost

I had a crown put on tooth 15 this week. An old filling cracked and needed to be fixed. The dentist filed the broken bits down to a sharp nub of bone and cemented a new porcelain tooth on top. I had to wait while they made the cast, and while I waited, my tongue went again and again to the hole where my tooth had been. It was strange to feel the void - weirdly huge - and then strange to feel the fake tooth- in my mouth but not my own. My familiar mouth had become a foreign place, but my smile was unchanged.

It made me think about how loss gives our lives a secret form. I've lost a few loves I thought would last forever. They are like broken teeth hidden in the back of my jaw. I'm the only one who knows their exact shape and contours, but my perception of them is not precisely true. More guesses in the dark, a piecing together of blind sensations, over-magnified and warped. They've been with me so long that I sometimes forget them, but every so often, I bite just right, and I remember. It's not pain anymore, exactly, but a direct and unsettling encounter with an imperfection tied to a memory of hurt. A reminder of the failure of a structure I believed in completely. Sometimes I wonder what it means to have them with me still, if I should have tried to fix them instead of live with them - filed them down, replaced them with something sounder.  I think the fix would have been as unsettling as the break.


August feels like a hinge in the year. Swing backwards and summer is there, swing forward and fall is waiting. I'm in the swing forward camp. I'm never sorry to the see summer end, although I'll miss the peaches. I'm ready for sweaters and socks and new suede shoes.