avalanche

Lauren Sharpe
2 min readSep 14, 2020

It was the blackberry seed that cracked my tooth earlier this week.

Sitting in front of the screen, listening to a description of the difference between synchronous and asynchronous learning, finishing my breakfast shake as prepared by my life partner, I nibbled innocently on the last of the blackberry seeds, wiggling it between my top and bottom front teeth. I felt the surprising crunch and crumble of more than just the seed itself, the back of my tooth suddenly a tiny avalanche. Instinctively I clicked “stop camera” — spit into my hand. The two materials were nearly indistinguishable, tooth or seed, it all looked about the same. A cold rush of panic swept over my body and I walked to the bathroom to survey the damage. In the background, the girls yelling at one another about which book actually belongs to which person, the Zoom call carrying on in the foreground. I looked into the mirror. It’s not that bad, really, I thought, you can’t even tell and who sees my mouth nowadays anyway?

I have my dentist’s email because before she was my dentist she was my yoga teacher, one of my favorites, and now, she’s my favorite dentist, too. She wrote me back immediately, easing my fears by saying that she didn’t think it looked too bad either and sent a link to this article. Fuck Trump, I wrote.

I have no dental insurance. Let’s see if I can make it to October 6th, her next available appointment.

This was Thursday, I think.

Now, I spend a lot of time running my tongue along the craggy mountaintop that used to be the smooth plateau of my central incisor, feeling like if I push too hard, the whole thing will just come apart and crumble. Things fall apart, it’s scientific.

Now, I have a canker sore directly in front of this tooth, inside my lower lip. It’s only day two of it’s cycle. I get them often. They usually last around 7–10 days and it is truly a terrible time. Relatively speaking, it’s only a moment, a blip really, but when you have a canker sore, life feels brutal because every move, every word, every bite is pain.

Things are falling apart.
There is much work to do.
Let’s get up tomorrow and get to it.

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Lauren Sharpe

brooklyn, ny — theater maker/feels taker/educator/learner she/her/hers