Every morning I go to this little place and have a coffee before I run. I finally broke myself of my expensive latte habit (only have 1 on Sundays) and The Corner Cafe makes a great cup especially if you’re the recipient of their first pot of the day.
I sit in the window sipping and observing mapping out my day like Magellan.
Ten minutes into my muse a van pulls up with supplies. A man in his 60s jumps out to start piling salads and sandwiches onto this 3 tier rolling cart he delivers to the cafe.
I always get up to hold the door.
He thinks this is the greatest thing that me, a customer, would actually get up from my chair to help him. It’s the Upper East Side after all.
He then gives me the biggest toothless smile that would rival any infant’s.
Why am I blogging on this?
Because how can he be this happy without teeth?
This is a man who hums, says good morning, preens in contentment like one of the apostles.
He probably lives on soup for God’s sake yet he’s so incredibly cheerful.
I find it fascinating to say the least.
I have all my teeth, that thanks to my mother who tutored me in the importance of dental care, I take for total granted.
What’s my point?
I can chew. Ever since I’ve met him I’ve had a brand new outlook concerning my teeth. I floss more, take a longer time to brush. I even scheduled a cleaning 2 months early.
This man jumped started a strain of self- awareness I’ve been curiously missing.
There are so many things I take for granted. My molars are just the beginning.
There’s a woman down the block who limps and can only go so far; remnants of a car accident when she was small. I walk constantly everywhere with a spring in my step like James Cagney in Yankee Doodle Dandy. What if I couldn’t walk?
I just read that the actress Judi Dench is going blind.
What if I couldn’t read? Oh my God. Do you know yesterday I lolled at the library and read for 2 and a half hours? Did it even occur to me how lucky I was to be able to do that?
Let this post be about realizing some of the things we have that we never recognize as grace, like teeth.
I bet that man I hold the door for would kill for a healthy set of choppers he could sink into a hardy steak or a Hershey Bar or a bag of popcorn at the movies.
I’d like to quote the late great philosopher and father of White Fang and Black Tooth, the one and only Soupy Sales who said…
I’m embroidering that on a pillow as we speak.