Bradley Cooper was falling in love with me, everyone could tell. Especially my mother standing across the room gossiping about it in real time with Billy Bob Thornton. They were leaning against the wall looking over at us on the couch, the same one I had seen earlier that day at Costco.
Or maybe they were swimming. In fact, yes, I believe Billy Bob and my mom were swimming and sort of leaning against the side of the pool, which was also the side of the room. She had no idea who she was talking to and it didn’t matter.
We were in the back parlor of an Old Victorian house where my dentist had his office. My mother had taken me there to sort out the business of my broken tooth – the injury sustained when someone accidentally kicked me in the mouth at my first attempt at kickboxing an hour or so before.
We waited a long time in that room, me kind of sprawled on the couch in pain, my mother quietly treading water. It was long enough for Bradley Cooper to come in, walk straight over to me and immediately profess his love. And how could he not? My face was bruised and purple, my lips swollen from the impact, blood swirling inside my mouth. And then there was the matter of the tooth.
The broken tooth extracted from the left side of my mouth was dreamlike in length – easily three feet long with a severe arc and ending in a hook with long bristled roots. For a minute I was sitting there on the couch next to Bradley holding it, staring wondrously at its size. The next, the room was empty but for me waiting alone for the angry nurse to return. I don’t recall how or why she was mean, I just felt it. I did not like her.
While I was waiting for her return another tooth, this one on the right side, came loose. It wasn’t painful and I moved it back and forth with my tongue for a while. Then I reached in with my fingers and jiggled it out. Nothing special there, just a normal sized unbroken tooth.
I woke up happy, very excited for the day to begin.