Slate

This morning, I went to the orthodontist to get my braces tightened. Currently, my teeth ache, but that’s not the point. The orthodontist, who is either amused or extremely annoyed by anything I say or do, took one look at my braces and said, “What the hell have you been eating?”

I knew exactly what he meant. I’d been eating to build my blood count. “Beets,” I said, but I had misgivings. “When I ate beets and blueberries on the same day, I decided I should never do that again.”

“Jackpot,” he said.

This evening, my teeth are sore. It was difficult to eat dinner, by which I mean biting down felt like part of my skull might break off and make eating an engineering nightmare, and the fare was peas. Yeah, there’s just no way to…it’s not macho.

I haven’t had a cigarette since before my nap this afternoon. I nap. What, you don’t? Anyway, I could change my mind at any insomniac moment, but maybe not. I bought a bottle of wine because I wanted a bottle of gin, and if we have martinis we all want cigarettes and hookers – it’s a style thing, yes? I seldom drink on school nights, but I was trying to write. Larry, the little black cat bent on stealing your soul, was sleeping. The noise in my brain is turned up to a good rattling 11.

A new day might dawn, if only I weren’t at the pie counter in this Appalachian diner with Ernest Hemingway and Betty Buckley, and my order seems to be up…

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