Friday, August 8, 2014

A tooth, and a silver spoon

Written for my Writing Group, when given the two random objects of a tooth, and a silver spoon.

The two words that always chilled me in news reports: 
human remains. 
It conjured up an image of mudded, dirty bones, or 
scuffed limbs: grazed, clotted with old blood, 
turned black on icy white skin. 
All that remained of a life.  
And now here I am with some - 
how did it come to this? 
It's burning a hole in my pocket, 
blooming with DNA, 
threatening to tell. 
He just wouldn't listen. That's what happened. 
The tooth, his tooth, 
is a sick talisman that I have kept about me at all times. 
It was one, crazy moment, one hideous little minute. 
He arrived for his appointment and I knew, just 
knew what he was going to say. 
Ten years in psychiatry can teach you a lot about people. 
The things they'll do. 
He was a patient, naturally, and naturally, 
we got closer. I ended it: 
how could we go on? Even he'd said it to me; 
I was married, I was a professional, I was upper class. 
I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, he'd said. 
And what was he? A common fuck-up, 
who happened to move me in ways that my husband
couldn't even imagine. 
And now he threatened to tell said husband: 
showing up late at night, looming by our bins. 
I lost it in my office that day: I couldn't get rid of him, 
and I couldn't face the music. No-one must know about the affair.
And there it was. 
My award. Asset to the Community, 2009.
For the drop-in therapy clinics. 
It smashed through his mouth like an oar through water. 
I only meant to threaten him back, not kill him. 
But something about the hard resin of that iceberg-shaped award just...
obliterated him. 
I shoved him under my desk, and led 
three separate therapy sessions that afternoon, 
staying late to clear him up. Bound, gift-wrapped in bin-bags and tape, 
the entire office washed down in antiseptic. Gloves.
A washing line to tie the bundle. 
It's amazing how many devices one learns from
television detective shows. 
I drove out to the lake with Radio 3 lulling my busy brain. 
Some days have passed. It all went on as normal, until I found it. 
The tooth. The tooth I whacked out of him
with the force of my rage. 
Languishing under a pot plant on my desk and emanating
unseen DNA all over me, my room. 
I have to get rid of it. 
I must get rid of it, out of my pocket, out of this building, out of my life. 
Then everything will be ok.

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