Sunday October 25, 2015
The eyes show your soul and the mouth shows what you’re really are. I have a mouth of broken teeth. Some are from decay, mostly due to fighting. I have a face that people want to punch. It’s odd, because I’m by my nature a very quiet man. I never want to cause trouble onto anyone, yet, people seem to have great pleasure in hitting me in the mouth. After getting hit, I never feel the pain, just a numb sensation that something has changed within me. The first awareness is having your tongue go over the wound and the jagged surface of once where a tooth was in place.
Losing a fight is not a problem with me, but the vanity aspect of having my appearance changed, and therefore exposing a side of me that I wish was hidden from the public - especially from the females. The first thing one looks at is the mouth, and you can see people judge one by how that area of the face looks. I do it all the time, especially with strangers. If they have a strange set of teeth, I wonder why. I then imagine them if they had proper choppers, instead of the mess that’s in their mouth. So why would anyone think of me differently. A scar sometimes shows character, but a broken tooth is just what it is - a sign of failure of some sort.
I have to imagine what it must be like for a woman to kiss me with her tongue. I have a chipped tooth that is sharp as a blade. I often cause my lip to bleed when I’m deep in thought while reading a book, and all of sudden a sharp pain comes up, and I can taste the blood from my lip. I have a fear of causing a puncture of a woman’s lips because of the teeth. In fact, there is usually not a moment when I’m not thinking of my teeth.
I have often had dreams of losing a tooth, and it’s odd to lose that specific tooth in real life. Due to the nature of my mouth, if one tooth is gone, it changes the entire landscape that is in my mouth. In my dreams, I have noticed that there is a tooth missing, but I’m with a beautiful woman, and I’m hoping that she won’t notice the missing tooth in my mouth. Then there is a feeling that she is aware, but not saying anything. In fact, she is making some sort of judgement against you, or wondering why you don’t get your teeth fixed. I feel the anxiety of poor dental care, not due to pain, but what others think of me.
Since I can’t afford a dentist, and on top of that, all of them are suspicious to me. They all resemble that doctor I have seen in countless noir films, where the criminal is on the run, and he gets wounded - and someone calls a doctor at 3 AM in the morning, and they show up in some abandoned warehouse. Well, that is what a dentist looks like to me. For some reason or another, they don’t seem to be the same as an official or licenced medical doctor. I don’t fully understand why they are different, or one needs a separate insurance policy for dental services.
Nevertheless, I neither have dental insurance or the money to pay for such service. Therefore I decided the best thing to do is actually painted my teeth black. I’m fascinated with Japanese women who blacked out their teeth. They call it “ohaguro.” In the Meji period, aristocrats would have blackened teeth. It seems my major problem is not the teeth, but I was born in the wrong culture, class structure, and of course, time. But here, in Los Angeles, and on a Sunday, it is a dental problem.
I have read that Japanese military commanders who were hit in the face or head, would wear women’s make-up to disguise the scarring of the face. On top of that, they would dye their teeth black. Since I now feel disfigured by the gap in my mouth, I decided to dye my teeth as well. My visual representation was a picture of a Noh mask. On top of that, I also shaved my eyebrows, due to the fact that they are bushy and grew like a wild weed above my eyes. If I can’t get rid of the ugliness of my face, at least I can have some power over the results of the violence, I have encountered. If choice of being disfigured by nature or human violence, I rather do the scarring by my own hand.
There is the feeling that one would want to do a little bit at a time, but the anxiety that is within me will always make it feel like that it’s the main entry-way to my personality and very being. To do things extreme, will show a sense of character on my part. To destroy such a beautiful face, will free me in the long time.
- Tosh Berman