THE 40-YEAR-OLD BRACE FACE
I have to brace myself. I got braces the other day. They hurt like a mutherfucker and I feel like the exact opposite of anything remotely cute. The only consolation to the pain and aesthetic torture is that there is light at the end of the of the metal tracks with a promise of a pretty smile. It’s a heavy price to pay–both monetary, spiritually, emotionally as well as vanity, but I know a thing or two about counting days.
Braces can be cute if you’re into that sort of thing, but I find nothing attractive about having a metallic smile–not on children and especially not on grown adults. I don’t like the way they look and I don’t like the way people sound when they’ve come at you with barbwire sticking out of their pie hole. Braces have always given me a severe case of buttcurl. I always think of food decaying between those brackets. I always think of a lisping, drooling teeth-sucking nerd with some busted lips. Of course my judgments stem mostly from the fact that I always knew I needed them and in my heavy heart of hearts, I also knew I would eventually get them.
Let me reiterate, I think braces are ugly. So you best believe that I am UP AGAINST IT for actually going through with this. However, I’ve been talking about getting braces for almost 20 years. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to get ’em and plenty of excuses not to go through with ’em. I couldn’t afford braces and then I could, but I couldn’t afford to be ugly. Then I couldn’t afford to rip my face wide open because I was deep in the throes of my crystal meth addiction. I think the latter being the biggest shit-kicker for me. The fact that I didn’t get braces because I couldn’t stop tweaking is probably reason numero uno why I sit before you with metal brackets in my teeth. I don’t think there’s a single tweaker out there who doesn’t worry about the damage meth is doing or has done to their grill. When I first learned of meth mouth and glimpsed at some images of some pretty busted teeth, I knew it was time to quit, but I could not stop. Therefore, I could not get braces. Don’t get it twisted, if you do a lot of meth, you’re really fucking up your teeth. Meth mouth. Look it up.
I remember going to my first meeting for crystal meth users. I could not help but go there. One by one I met my fellow tweakers and thought, “Nice tooth.”
There was also the time when I was talking to one of my fellow residents in rehab. I must’ve said something bitchy in my usual manner, because this guy threw his head back and started laughing his ass off. Then his eyes bulged out and he reached for his neck, making gagging/gasping sounds—“Agh!” Something shot out of his throat and flicked me right on the forehead. “Oh my God!” He chocked. “My tooth fell out! What the fuck!?” We found a bloody molar on the floor and I almost screamed. It’s the kind of shit that makes you want to take care of your teeth.
Why metal you ask? As badly as I wanted to get the white braces to save some sort of face, it just didn’t make any sense. White brackets break more easily, they’re not as strong as the metal brackets, so they’re in your face longer, and the price spiked the bill to another $1,000–not to mention, the wires are still silver, so it’s not like you can’t see ’em. Metal motor mouth it is. I’m just grateful I don’t need a neck brace or other head gear to get my teeth to align.
Needless to say, I have very mixed feelings about the steel stuck to my teeth. I can’t believe I FINALLY got ’em. I can’t believe how much they hurt. And I can’t believe how dumb I sound. I thound thumthing thtupid like thith. But I’m gonna have to own it. At least for the next year and half to two (groan).
I feel so damn ugly right now. But according to Miss Jackie Beat’s column Little Miss Know-It-All in the latest issue of Frontiers Magazine, “Never underestimate the the power of ugly. Just as there is a fine line between crying and laughing, the difference between ugly and gorgeous is often the angle or the lighting. To be truly beautiful one must allow themselves to be hideous.”
I’m not sure if Miss Beat had train track teeth in mind when she wrote that style advice, but I’m gonna go with it. Moving forward, my lips are sealed, I’m giving you my best angle and I will try to always seek the best possible light.