Shallow Dance

by Matty Sullivan

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My Teeth Are Jacked Up

According to the bathroom scale, I weigh 190 pounds. I am heavier now than I’ve ever been. This means very little to me, of course. All my friends and family assure me I am skinny, which I already know. At this rate, by the time I am fifty, I will weigh 200 pounds.

I am also older now than I have ever been. Everybody tells me I look a good deal younger than I am, which is nice. At this rate, by the time I am fifty, I will look thirty-five.

I once knew a guy who had just turned fifty. He didn’t like the way his face looked so he decided to get cosmetic facial surgery. He told me he wanted to look 20 years younger than he did.

“Wouldn’t it be funny,” I said, “if they made you look twenty years younger, but you had to forget everything you had learned in the past twenty years?”

“Oh God,” he said. “That would be horrible.”

I don’t mind the way I look, I guess. It could be worse. Although I wouldn’t mind if my teeth were nicer. It’s my own fault, of course. I should have brushed and flossed every day and I shouldn’t have done drugs. At least not the drugs I did. I’m sure the Dr. Pepper hasn’t helped. In fact, I know it hasn’t. If I claimed it had, would anyone believe me? “Dr. Pepper helped my teeth look real nice.” Isn’t that ignorant?

When I was a kid, my sister used to yell at me that I should brush my teeth. But I wouldn’t because my sister was a bitch. “Well, I’ll show her,” I said to myself. And I didn’t brush. Hardly ever. Also, I’m pretty lazy most of the time.

But now I’m older and my teeth are jacked up, and if someone told me I could fix them by brushing them with warm donkey shit, I would do it. I would brush three times a day and my breath would smell horrible. But I would smile a lot and people would be glad to see me.

While I’ve been writing this, the edge of the Universe has gotten several million miles farther away.