I remember writing before. It seems like someone not me before, but who I am now but much more me than now, the me before.
In Austin, all the way there and after, even before I left because I knew, I knew I was leaving, I was going, and I wasn’t afraid. my teeth weren’t in the drawer, a couple drawers and a brand new one sitting on the counter, a single tooth laughing at me or maybe crying. Before when everything was leaning forward towards the next while still in love with each day, each of the days that were now then, but now aren’t anything but words. Before when I could stand for hours and jjust by standing cause people to smile, remind them of wonder, where they walked away laughing after showing me the only way they thought right how much what I was doing was loved, a dollar, five, twenty sometimes, and I felt like I was doing something right, something good, not because of the money but because of the way their eyes lit up and would shine.
Before when blood didn;t run down my legs, when I didn;t plan my schedule by doctor appointments. Before when you fell in love with me because of my words, because you could feel the life inside of me too and it was contagious, it made you smile, gave you hope, before.
It’s the tooth that did it, another one snapping off today, right in front, one that I didn’t expect to go, not so soon. Not at all. I expected the other side because of the way I clench my jaw so tight when the leg cramps come and I try not too but it’s hard enough not to scream. Still it’s not the cramps, because you can’t see those except for my tired, but you can see me not smile because I’m so ashamed to. You don’t know why my teeth are gone, and you will judge me by it. I don;t know why my teeth are gone and now when I smile all of the sudden I am ugly, ugly in a way that could have been avoided you think and I think and therefore hideous, like I never brushed them, never took care of them, but I did, I fucking did, saved up paychecks worth of money for the surgery but still didn’t have enough for all that was needed, and brushed and did what I could that was right but it was all under the gumline and then they started going, going, gone, the one today perfect and once part of such a carefree smile and now sitting alone and shining on my counter top…
Now that I’m broken they’re allowed to fix me. It’s so damn stupid. Now that I’m falling apart I qualify for them to try to put me back together again. Now, they say “uh-oh”. Now that I can’t stand for hours, and make people smile. Now that I am tormented by what is left of my own smile.
Now that I want more than anything to be on the road again, but can;t leave – and even if the rest were fine I don;t want to meet anyone with what I have left of a smile, because even if I forget for a moment, even if my heart is bursting with the happiness of new adventures and beautiful new people, you’ll see the ruins of a smile and that will stand out beyond everything and you won’t forget…
so I need to make it like before again, and I will fight like hell to do it – because there are far too many after nows, far to many “and then I will”s and far too many roadlines to fly by on a pitch black night on my way to the forever tomorrows, and all of the dreams that happen along the way.