i always, without fail, forget toothpaste. the brush i bring, but not the paste. always. never mind how much i travel, in the socialist society that only exists in my mind, toothpaste is a government-provided given along with healthcare and toilet paper and milk and cake.
i'm of the firm opinion that dental hygiene is not a detail towards which i should have to put forethought. the tools should simply be there.
i am alone in new york and i have no toothpaste. wearing a polka-dot dress and red lipstick, i go to the front desk and ask for a map and toothpaste.
read: i'm a totally cute lost girl with bad breath.
this is not my ideal biographical persona.
there is no toothpaste at the front desk. it is already five minutes past my ideal departure time. it's one of those mornings where nothing will be idyllic.
ten minutes past my ideal departure time, toothpaste is procured.
ten minutes into my conversation with stacy schiff, when i lean forward to write my email address under the jfk quote she says she will email to me, i flashback to that moment nine minutes past my ideal departure time- the moment just before the kindly woman knocked on my door- where i wondered if i could brave a biographical conference without brushing my teeth and i thank my lucky stars i put my faith in the housekeeping staff of the times square best western and waited that extra minute.
because there's a slim chance stacy schiff may remember me. it's early days yet, but i'm quite certain i'd rather be the girl in the polka dot dress who loved the vera nabokov book than the one with the weird email address who didn't brush her teeth.