He let his new false teeth sink into each grape, red and plump with juice.
“They will feel part of your mouth soon,” his dentist had said “just give it time.”
But as his mouth flooded with sugary bits of grape, flesh and skin and blood, he only felt plastic. He longed to spit the whole goddamned mess out – white acrylic teeth, chewed-up red grapes. The lot.
“They can’t hurt you any more,” his wife soothed. “I lost mine ten years ago, and am so much the better for it.”
His teeth had their roots in him. They had torn apart sugarcane, cracked crab shells, opened beer bottles, crunched ice-cubes, held a cigar between his lips. And, now they were gone, along with the strength in his arms, the surge in his loins, the memories in his head. His entire bloody spirit that made him race and lay bets and win. His win had gone.
For years his wife had slept apart from him. Now it was time for his teeth. Sure as hell neither could hurt him. But a man is a man for all that.
He squelched down the grape mush. Tasted his new teeth with his tongue – hard, indifferent, insipid. Like life, these teeth had to be endured, lived day after day till subdued.