Dec 5, 2003

In the early days of the punk
When I was fourteen, a one-on-one football game ended with my two front teeth knocked back – wiggly loose and bend almost horizontal backwards in my mouth.

Apparently there’s not much you can do for that and what you can do is half luck, so I sat for a week with a Popsicle stick pressuring my teeth forward and drank Campbell’s soup that’d been run through a blender. (Nasty stuff that.)

It worked, basically. My teeth weren’t as straight as they were before, but they were working teeth again. The only problem was they hadn’t come out far enough and now I had an under bite. My top front teeth rubbed against my bottom front teeth and I wondered what it’s be like 20 years latter when I still had to go through jaw-gymnastics to chew without gnashing my teeth in an attempt to chew.

And so, for the first time, I had suffered physical damage that wasn’t really fixable. I’d played, messed with the game, lost and was wearing the consequences.

A few days latter I was mowing a lawn, walked under a swing set, brutally smashed the top of my head and dropped to my bottom from the force of running my head against a cemented swing set.

I was surprised to find myself not mowing a lawn but sitting on the ground gapping, with a head throbbing. I felt my head, felt the welt growing as I sat there in the grass. I closed my mouth.

And my mouth closed. Running head first into a cemented swing set pushed my teeth out to normal.

“You’re such a punk,” my sister said. “That’s so typical for you. You don’t follow the rules or make up new ones and some disaster happens but it helps you.

“Daniel doesn’t plan and he doesn’t do what he’s supposed to and everything works out fine. He doesn’t look where he’s going and he’s going to fast and everything turns out right.”