I am hungry.
It scratches at my insides, and knocks on the enamel of my teeth. One bite tears through my face, up into my skull. Food cleaves right through the skull. Hi-Ho, right through the sinus cavity we go.
That will leave a scar. Or just an emotional chasm between pain and not pain. It is all you can pay attention to when you have it. The pain. I scream at the children to quiet down when they are chewing too loud.
STOP ALL THE CHEWING! IT IS SO ANNOYING! I AM HUNGRY! MY TOOTH HURTS!
My tooth has a heartbeat. I have been spitting blood. My tongue finds the pain over and over. Pushes at the pain. Bloody, cruel tongue forsaking the body behind her. I have terrible teeth, a mixture of bad genes and terrible drink-addled habits from spending my late teen nights in nigh squats and sweaty bars. My front teeth are cracked and yellow from being knocked out and gutted by dentists. My back teeth have pockets of carries and bruises, and large gaps from teeth that I don't remember losing.
Last night, I had two dreams. One I arrived in San Francisco and traveled by bicycle through the city as a courier. I saw my friend Charles. I stunk, but was happy. In the other dream, I cut my rotten tooth out of my mouth with a knife after drinking whiskey. Maker's Mark bourbon. There was a campfire, and a farty dog. I think this was a movie I saw once, but last night, in the middle of the night, when the fire went out of the woodstove and the over-the-counter drugs wore off, I was cutting it out. The tooth stunk. I was probably smoking rolled cigarettes, and had a holster for my boobs, like the tough broad that I am. But the bourbon was the first thing I saw in the dream. Maybe that is one of the only ways I would drink again, if I were removing my own abscessed tooth on the frontier with a buck knife. Once I saw liquor, I just wanted it on my gums, over my tongue. I'm still a drunk. No matter how brightly I try to see the other side. I could smell it when I woke up. The bourbon, that is, not the tooth. The tooth was just throbbing.
Give me, Bourbon. The deformed molar was chanting. Or give me death.
But I am hungry. For booze, or food. Mostly food, like a green salad with lots of pointy, hard things that I cannot eat right now. The drink-pulse comes every once in a while. I have to pray away the desire. I had to learn how to pray. I had to learn how to be trusting and ask for help. And say, I don't care how ridiculous this sounds to cool people, I want to live. And sometimes I want to be a cynical bastard again, kick shit, and say FUCKITY FUCK FUCK FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK! And then I do. I just say it. And it turns into a meditation. "Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck this." But it always goes back to something better than just fuck.
I am a joke.
I get it. It is funny. Jaded miserable miscreant figures out she's a sot. Gets gratitude. Finds a spiritual path. Now she is a corny motherfucker who oms and adores nature without irony and likes playing with her kids and thinks there is a connection between everything. I used to be a boozy, bitter cynic. I'd laugh too if I wasn't me. In my dreams, I am still a scruffy, miserable bastard slugging whiskey and cutting rotten teeth out of my jaw.
It reminds me of a party I once went to at my friend's house, and this dude walks in. Good-looking guy, suave, cut. My friend K said, "Is that Jon Secada? Tell that corny motherfucker that we don't drink his box wine around here." I get the feeling that I am Jon Secada and happiness is my box wine.
Ah, where was I? Yes, I am hungry.
Hungry for justice. Thirsty for liberation. I tattoo "BERSERKER" on my forehead and get pissed at people who stare at it. Don't you get that I feel a little crazy with all this oral pain? I slather on the Orajel, and someone asks me if it is alcohol-free, or if I prayed enough. I am praying for patience with them. I cannot use mouthwash, or vanilla extract, or cooking wine, or NyQuil, or cough syrup, but I'm using the damn benzocaine. It just numbs and doesn't get you drunk. It is safe. I slather it on, and drool. I pray again. Meditate. All the things everyone hates hearing about, except they saved my pathetic fucking life.
This afternoon, I am going to pay some cowboy to get me high, then pull my tooth out with some pliers and a knife. He will show it to me. It will be grey and disgusting and I will hope that he is mistaken, though I know he won't be. I am a nigh-Buddhist, after all. Nigh-Buddhists are supposed to have good teeth.