i’ve never lost a tooth. i've always been too careful, i think.
i am tired of skateboarding helmets and mouthguards. and i am tired of being protected from heartache.
let me lose my teeth. is loss not part of what makes it all so beautiful?
isn’t the dentists visit how i know it was all worth it? all the sweaty eyes and tired lungs?
isn't the hurt how i know you meant so much?
i used to go skating, hoping that i would fall off and smash up my face and you would notice and hold me. that you’d bring me an ice pack and ask me if i was okay, and i would put on a brave face and smile through bloody bloody teeth and split split lips and say “i’m not so bad, you should see the other guy” and we would laugh and fall in love and be happy.
but instead i would wear a helmet, and i would fall and split the plastic instead of my skin.
when i play rugby i will wear my mouthguard and when the shoulder strikes my face, i will get no missing tooth, i will get no pretty scar, i will get a cut on the inside of my lip and i will stand myself up and say nothing, and only notice how badly it hurts when i need to wear my mouthguard again, or when i try to remember a birthday. yet i will say nothing except perhaps a joke about the mouthguard doing more harm than good. but never more than a joke.
and i am fucking sick of helmets. i am fucking sick of being protected from the feeling of not feeling my tooth. i am fucking sick of me and mostly you putting the mouthguard in and not letting me feel the bloody hole in my mouth where an incisor should have been, and learning to be without a perfect smile, and learning to love the pain of my favourite ice cream melting into it.
i want to know these things, i want the pain to be deep, i want it to leave me doubled over, crying. i want it to be real.
i dont want a cut on the inside of my mouth. i want to dig my fingers into the split in my lip and pull myself apart until i can find out what let van gogh paint like he did, and how jack ridl felt when he wrote practicing to walk like a heron. because you can't feel as loved as ridl did at that moment with a full set of teeth.
i want a chance to learn how to be loved.
i want to be broken and rebuilt so that you find it easier.
i dont mind being hurt. so long as it's real. so long as it’s you.