Sunday, 2 February 2014
Ju Ju Roots
The gap between my teeth. I hadn't noticed it before, that new gap, a dark and mysterious space now hatching and opening in my mouth, there at the very front. Where on earth had that come from? Why did my dentist not mention it during my last (normal and healthy to all intents and purposes) checkup. My teeth, thinning themselves out, breaking down and changing shape. Well apart from fair wear and tear and ageing that's not really possible is it? Teeth are just teeth. But the gaps grew and their shapes did change. Slowly and determinedly my teeth were becoming sharp, odd, inhuman, misshaped teeth. No longer mine. Animal teeth maybe. I took photographs and measured. I went to the dentist. He just said that they were healthy but “subject to a bit of change”. There were some tests and xrays but nothing could explain. Then the pains really started, in my gums and jawbone. My whole mouth, my face. It was slowly growing and stretching out of shape. I'm surely too old for growing pains but my teeth, gums, jaw and mouth were slowly growing and shape shifting. Weeks and months passed, my world became a strange and dark corner I hid within. I went out less, wrapped myself in scarves, wore a hat but mostly stayed home, stopped shaving. I avoided friends and family and any unnecessary social contact. I wasn't me any more, I'd changed. My whole face and jawline now distorted, stretched and protruding. My nose elongated, my tongue stretched, my teeth spaced out and all sharp and angry, my dentist remained in shock and denial as were any medical experts I'd consulted. Some hinted that my story might well be worth a fortune and that I should cash in, but I was hurt and humiliated. I had the face and mouth of a dog; but I was quite enjoying the taste and texture of red raw meat and the flavour(s) of blood.