It was an expression of unstinted expectation. Yellowed teeth glooming at me like a slime-ridden promise. They did their best to disgust me, but there was something endearing about the ill-fitting keys – honesty in their form, truth in their tarnished colour. He had not tried to mask them at all, to make them outwardly acceptable in terms of presentation, to even eradicate the odoriferous aura of their presence when he would open his muddling maw. It was envy I felt, I think. That someone could still be happy despite such deep dental flaws.
As I gazed at this nascent smile, I was struck by the realisation that if cast in the same situation, I knew I could never mirror his projected behaviour. I could only be
a lifeless brooding corpse.
The weight of an infinite number of exoplanets unrelenting in my need for superficial action.
Superficial action was not an inherently bad thing, but to not give a shit about outward presentation was impressive all the same. I could never have done it, do it. Whatever. My wife told me he was going to get breakfast and wanted to meet me there before taking me to some sort of public bathing house. I decided it was in my interests to go – I didn’t want to disappoint the rotten tusks staring back at me. I wasn’t particularly in the business of soul indentation. It wasn’t really something I wanted to start now.