Polishing VenusI wear a blue plastic retainer at night. It's painful, tight on my teeth, as if my mouth has outgrown it. I don't put it in often enough, so the shape of my jaw twists and changes, until I remember how much I despised braces and consent to slip it in, and I lie awake at night, loathing the imperfection of my teeth and the ache that pulses there as my mouth readjusts to the wires and plastic that force my jaw into the correct position.More Like This
I wear glasses too ugly things, dark maroon on top, with a thin, squishy plastic wire on bottom instead of another rim. Not many people know I have them. When I was a kid, I had the rimless kind some part of me believed them to be less noticeable. I'd pop the lenses out and tell my father I slipped on the gravel at recess so I could get away with days without the slippery plastic ridge balanced on my nose, and the glances I got for being the only nine-year-old with glasses. Nowadays, I use contacts, and I slip my glasses case under my pillow
DragonsThe dragons just kept getting cuter.More Like This
I'd meant them to be scary, with snakelike heads and pearly fangs, but as my fingers gained more practice the dragons they shaped became younger and more innocent, their wings tiny and their eyes wide. Dull spikes lined their heads and tails, not yet sharpened by age. They lay on their bellies or sat up and watched with good-natured curiosity. They were friendly. They were sweet.
They were flawed, and there were a lot of them. I experimented with color and pose, sculpting the way others would turn a stress ball. Every morning I baked the newcomers in my oven, and within a week my desk was overrun. Rows of dragons pressed against my laptop from all sides. Some I enjoyed looking at. Others were a reminder of some mistake I'd made. Putting the horns on before the eyes. Making the legs too thin so it tilted drunkenly while baking. Not realizing that some clay changes color as it solidifies.
What to do with them all? I couldn't keep them even if I'd want