71: “On the plus side, I’m not blind, which was initially a very large concern”

Rosalyn got asked out by her dentist. To be more accurate, she got asked out by her regular dentist’s dentist son, the man who she had begun referring to as Baby Teeth. She had not been asked out by her normal dentist, Baby Teeth’s father Dr. Teeth, which was just as well because he was remarkably old and also married. Dr. Teeth had been married to Mrs. Teeth for thirty-eight years.

“That’s the kind of man you hold onto,” Rosalyn explained to Tallulah, referring to Dr. Teeth.

“Well, I mean, the name alone,” Tallulah returned. Rosalyn was sure Tallulah would marry someone solely so that she could become Mrs. Tallulah Teeth. She had once dated someone in university named Brandon Badger so that, if they ever got married, she could be Mrs. Tallulah Badger. Unfortunately, Brandon was the absolute worst so that romance was not to be.

Baby Teeth called her up to ask her out, citing that he had looked her up on the dentist’s office computer system, which, as he put it, wasn’t strictly allowed. He then asked her to please not tell his father that he’d done that because it really wasn’t allowed.

“That’s the least charming thing he could’ve done,” Priscilla commented when Rosalyn told her and Tallulah about the exchange. “And his name is already Baby Teeth.”

“To be fair, that’s not his real name,” Rosalyn offered. “Although, now I can only think of his as Baby Teeth, so I think I may have shot myself in the foot a little bit with that one.”

“I would say so, yeah,” Tallulah nodded.

Despite her reservations, Rosalyn did actually accept the invitation Baby Teeth extended. She wasn’t sure how she felt about it, though. Aside from being unable to think of him as anything other than Baby Teeth, she knew roughly nothing about him. She supposed she would get to know him on their date that weekend. Maybe she would learn enough about him to stop thinking of him as Baby Teeth in her mind. She didn’t have high hopes for the future of their relationship if that wasn’t a possibility. She couldn’t in good conscious marry a man she thought of as Baby Teeth in her head.

Rosalyn thought about it a lot over the course of the week. The closer she got to the weekend and her date with Baby Teeth, the more she thought about how she could only think of him as Baby Teeth. She’d begun to worry in earnest, but it was also becoming something of a vicious cycle. By thinking about how she could only think of him as Baby Teeth, she further cemented the fact that she could only think of him as Baby Teeth. On Thursday, she literally forgot his real name. The whole time this was happening, she was still continuing about her regular life. People came to the outdoor sporting goods store where she worked, asked her about kayaks, she gave vague answers and simultaneously tried to remember Baby Teeth’s real first name. She felt like it was Brad. Or Mark. Or possibly Dan. It might’ve been David actually. She was fairly certain it wasn’t Oliver. It definitely wasn’t Baby Teeth.

On Thursday afternoon, at the tail end of her shift, she was approached by her co-worker Matt. He was her favourite. Sometimes they took break together. They would sit in the break room and talk about absolute shit. Most recently, he had listed all of the Pokemons for her, a feat which she had in no way asked him to prove he was capable of completing.

“Hey, asshole,” Matt greeted her, which was lovely.

“Shithead,” Rosalyn returned with a nod. One of the customers nearby gave them a very startled look and hurried on her way. It was just as well because she’d looked like she was about to ask Rosalyn about kayak paddles and, as Rosalyn knew virtually nothing about kayak paddles except that they existed, she was both pleased and relieved.

“Remember when I asked you to stop indescrimenantly sending customers over to my corner of the store regardless of what they ask for?” Matt checked. Rosalyn feigned ignorance.

“Uh, maybe?”

“Yeah,” Matt adjusted his enormous glasses. “Could you stop?”

“Uh, maybe,” she replied non-committally. She wasn’t making any promises she couldn’t keep.

“Great, thanks,” he said, starting to walk backwards toward the camping section where he worked. “You’re a real dick.”

“Thanks, buttface, so are you!” She called after him.

On Saturday afternoon, Rosalyn began getting ready for her date with Baby Teeth. Since Thursday, she had managed to convince herself that his real first name was Nate. She actually had no idea if this was true or not, but she had resolved to stop worrying about it. At this point, it seemed extremely unlikely that their relationship would be progressing much further so there was no real need for her to ever know his name. Presumably, after dinner, the only times she would see him would be when she went to the dentist. Even then, she had considered switching dentists. Perhaps she really would when Dr. Teeth finally succumbed to death. He was long overdue. She was surprised no one had forced him to retire yet.

While taking a shower, Rosalyn got face wash in her right eye. It was horrific. She’d gotten regular soap and shampoo in her eye before, but nothing like this. She was actually a little concerned that she washed her face regularly with something that was so clearly partially comprised of acid. She was never going to be able to see again. She swore loudly, internally panicking about her sudden loss of vision. She had foolishly squandered her sighted years. She should’ve been looking at more things when she’d had the chance. She wondered if she’d still be able to drive with sight in only one eye. She didn’t even own a car. She was only halfway through her shower. She had to rinse the shampoo out of her hair while she was thinking about having her right eyeball removed entirely and needing a glass eye to replace it. It was small relief that she thought she would look damn fierce in an eye patch.

By the time she had completely washed her hair, conditioning included, she could open her right eye a sliver. She dried off and worked on blinking her way to having her eye fully open. If she could just get her eye open, she would be fine. She could see after all, which was a immense relief. She had starting composing a mental bucket list of things she still wanted to see in the world during her shower, post-face wash assault, and now she would get the chance to complete that. Once she’d dried off, she starting pulling on her clothes. Fully dressed, she looked at herself in the mirror for the first time. It was a truly shocking sight. Her entire right eye was bright red and it was streaming tears, which Rosalyn couldn’t feel through the burning sensation. Plus, in her haste to get the liquid fire out of her eye, she hadn’t taken the time to properly wash off her eye make-up so her mascara and eyeliner had streaked down her cheek. She looked rough.

She did her hair in her bedroom with one eye closed. Then she attempted to put on some make-up. Her left eye looked spectacular. Her right eye looked like a child with a particularly shaky hand and an excessive fondness of eyeliner had gone at it.

“How do I look?” She asked Priscilla and Tallulah, exiting her bedroom after she’d finished. Priscilla was stunned into silence.

“Holy fuck,” was Tallulah’s very unreassuring response.

“I may or may not have gotten face wash in my eye,” Rosalyn explained. “On the plus side, I’m not blind, which was initially a very large concern.”

“Can I try to fix your eye make-up?” Priscilla asked after a very long silence.

“I would very much like that, yes,” Rosalyn nodded.

She did the best that she could. In the end, it did look considerably better than the job Rosalyn had done, though not by too much. Mostly, she had just overdone the left eye to get them to match. It was entirely too much eyeliner to wear during the early evening. Maybe it she was in a back alley outside a strip club trying to pick up dodgy men.

“Is your eye alight?” Baby Teeth asked when he got to her door to pick her up.

“Yeah, is yours?” Rosalyn asked in response. It was the wrong thing to say, but she couldn’t think of what the right thing to say was. She did not have high hopes for their evening together.


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