The Man With No Teeth

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…

Be true to your teeth, and they’ll never be false to you.                        

I’m embroidering that on a pillow as we speak.


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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11 Responses to The Man With No Teeth

  1. Rob says:

    One of my worst experiences was going through a car windscreen in an accident. The cuts and bruising to my face were bad enough, but when I started spitting out lumps, I thought I had smashed all of my teeth. Imagine my relief when I discovered my teeth were unscathed and it was lumps of windscreen I was spitting! That taught me to keep my mouth shut when flying through windscreens.


  2. My husband, at almost 50, does not have 1 cavity. I on the other hand have the equivalent of a Dental Disneyland going on in my mouth. This has always left me to admire teeth. It’s funny, but my brother-in-law had his teeth removed and chooses to go commando. He has false teeth, but finds it a chore to wear them, which blows my mind. He is a handsome guy too, but the commando look ages him 30 years.


  3. kerrycooks says:

    Great outlook on life! Appreciating what you have is a big part of being happy I think


  4. Alva Chinn says:

    Yes, we take so many things for granted…giving thanks for our health’s something most of us just take for granted. This man’s joy at ‘Being’ is truly a mirror most of us don’t see in the looking glass. Thanks.


  5. Vasca says:

    Just returned from the dentist…perfect checkup and I plan to be even more diligent w/good care for my precious teeth. No way do I wanna’ lose any of them. Don’t think I’d like gumming my food…ouch!


  6. Good reminder not to take anything for granted. I have to add that I am jealous of great teeth, as I am plagued with dental problems, having a mouth that has an assortment of procedures such as implants, bone graphs, gum graphs, etc, etc…still could always be worst, and I must not forget that!


  7. Jed says:

    Good piece and agreed. It is remarkable how much we take for granted.


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