In the dark of night, my tongue searches for the gap between my front teeth.
It’s comforting, feeling my tongue inserted in the gap between my front teeth. It feels like my tongue is finally where it belongs.
I’ve heard words like braces. Fix. Correct your teeth. Close that gap between your front teeth.
They’re like a foreign language to me. Why would I close the gap that is part of my face? Why would I shut my uniqueness? That place where I keep my tongue when thinking? Why would I remove the gap between my front teeth?
Whenever I say anything about the gap between my front teeth for any reason, my mother tells me it’s from my grandpa.
I remember him joking about it, telling me that mine was just like his. Some people’s gaps close as they get older, but Grandpa’s never did. Which is why when he was my grandpa he still had it, big as ever, amazing as ever.
Seems funny when I write it, but the gap between my front teeth is like a gift from him. Sometimes when I stick my tongue into its house between my front teeth, I picture him. I hear his voice, like he’s still alive and laughing. I feel my Grandpa hugging me, and I imagine him telling me that the gap between my front teeth is a special little gift from him.
The gap between my front teeth is a special tie between us. It might close up, because sometimes they do, but I hope it doesn’t.
Dear Grandpa, my gap is still here, and if it stays, perhaps someday I’ll laugh with my own grandkids about the gap between my front teeth. Even if it closes, maybe I’ll show them some pictures of me when I had a gap between my front teeth.
When I do, I’ll tell them that the gap between my front teeth was a very special gift from you.
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