Oh, please. You “floss”? Sure, you do. Oh, of course. Yes, I’m sure you floss just like all the other “flossers,” desperately stringing your teeth moments before I look into your —
It can’t be.
No. There’s simply no way. I must be dreaming.
My dear. My love. My god. What is this before me? Weird little tiny mirror on a stick… do you see what I see? Confirm for me that I am truly witnessing the unparalleled majesty of a mouth that is flossed.
I must check the crevices between the teeth. Let me turn the rotating lens-thing on my eyepiece so that I can see closely. My stars. They are open and pristine like freely-flowing springtime brooks cascading along their timeless tracks. Oh, if only I could whisper a wish for all to floss like this into these canyons that it may echo in a way so sonorous…
But, alas. I am a dental hygienist equipped with only my stone-cold, disciplinarian facade and my silver poking devices. They told me I would need to have a speech ready for the chronic “speed-brusher,” the gingivitis-laden candy-eater, the crooked sleep chomper… but here I am desiring nothing more than to burst forth in a symphony of compassion.
My heart. My poor aching heart. These tools could scrape the hardened skulls off the catacombs. They could never hug this pure soul seated before me. They could never caress the cheeks of this innocent babe. You unblemished jewel.
It’s not just that you flossed. It’s that you listened. You heard the pleading cries of my people. You stepped forth when others may scurry. You engaged in the long, slow work of nightly rituals to beautify your chewing-place.
I must admit. In my darker times, I have skipped a night or two. Drunken stupors, nights away from home, unmentionable evenings. Maybe I am just jaded. I have so often written off those transgressions as, “At least, I was not like… the others.”
And here you are, the One Who Flossed. The one who would never tarry from that steadfast call. I must acknowledge you. I must leave some kind of token. Perhaps I could give you an extra toothpaste sample, or an extra – no.
No. These ideas are too pathetic.
Ah, yes. Yes.
It must be.
I must listen to my heart. It knows what you deserve. You, you who heed the hygienist call. You who reject cynicism. You whose gum pockets remain zipped and secure, not agape like the hopeless baby bird.
I bequeath to you, wondrous patient… I bequeath to you my most prized possession – this oversized model of a human jaw. We use it to show people how to chew food, I think. I don’t know. I’m just a figment of your imagination. Be tender to it. Hold it close and never let it go. Know that at your lowest points, it will comfort you. A faceless smile to touch your blessed soul.
May your molars remain triumphant. Your canines unencumbered. Your incisors… invictus.