16mm film projection
When I met her she was nineteen and had no teeth
She said she'd had a serious sweet tooth
that led her to the dentist one sunny day
where all her teeth were pulled out.
He fitted her for a new set
but somehow she just never got around to using them.
I heard her tell this story many times since
and she always laughed at this point,
like it was some really funny joke she'd just been told.
Somehow, she said, she felt free-er without them.
Then, whoever she was talking to would be slightly disturbed at this
and she'd give them a big smile-
the strangest smile a nineteen year old girl had ever given them.
But they wouldn't know how to take that either
and would try to leave the smile just there,
exactly in the place where her teeth should have been.
I used to think about those teeth
sitting on a shelf in her room like statues of teeth
and I'd watch her take good care of them and dust them in my mind's eye
Or sometimes she simply ignore them.
Either way, those teeth took root and began to grow
in my imagination
and I have reached the conclusion
that she might have had the right idea.
Voiceover: Anke Dessin
Music: Waltz from "The Stone Flower" by Sergei Prokofiev