Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Perversions of Cosmetic Dentistry

Officially, I drove to the tony L.A. suburb of Granada Hills today to get fitted for a new fake tooth, to replace the old one that I got as a result of diving straight to the bottom of the pool. (Face-first, by the way, and neither on a dare nor for any reason I can remember but maybe it got banged out of my memory.) However, upon leaving, I realized that there was little to separate this experience from my unwitting participation in some weird niche fetish porn.

drew mackie — revealing it all
Here is my summary of the events:

I was greeted by the receptionist, who had me wait on a plush leather couch like so many starlets about to learn the truth about stardom.

I was then escorted into a brightly lit backroom, where a man who spoke little English put his fingers in my mouth. I typically do not let strangers poke their fingers into my mouth, but this seemed to be the proper course of action today, or at least the room where I should make an exception to my rule. He tugged at my cheeks (face-cheeks, you jerks) and prodded at my gums and manually opened and closed my jaw, like he was trying to make it look like I was talking. (That may be added in post.)

Then Toshi — he said his name was Toshi, I think — asked if he could take my picture, which I’m sure was more a result of general politeness than me having any option, but I said yes. For a second, I felt special.

When Toshi returned with the camera, he didn’t tell me to smile. He just said “As big as possible,” which I interpreted as referring to how I should open my mouth, but now, you know, I’m not completely sure because he kept asking “Bigger? Bigger?” and maybe I just take bad direction. In the end, he asked if I could make “biggest smile using fingers,” which could mean so many things, I realize now. Like, just so many things. But I propped my upper lip up with my index fingers, so that I was exposing full gum, like my mother always told me never to do, and while I did that, Toshi placed different fake teeth — every shade of thirtysomething off-white, from “coffee habit” to “technically quit smoking” — in front of my real teeth, which could be a kind of meta porn, some kind of signifier-signified erotica, real-synth smut that just takes some weirdo in some weird place to a naughty special place.

None of this occurred to me as being potentially strange as I was doing it, I should point out, and Toshi could have asked me to, say, place an entire kitten in my oral cavity and I probably would have done it if it meant that he’d continue taking my picture and I’d continue feeling like a star.

But soon enough, my time with Toshi came to an end, and he told me to leave. “Do I need to pay?” I asked. “No,” he said. “You’ll pay later.” And those words rang in my head as I walked to my car and wondered exactly how many people would see those photos.

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