Losing It by Jackie West

Still no word from you, Freddie!

Wait till you hear this though: I found some false teeth at the bus stop today, on the timetable frame, half-wrapped in a piece of tissue. No kidding. Yellowish dentures in a sugar-mouse pink gum piece, smiling at me in the sun. No doubt placed there by the kind of soul who would pick up an odd glove or a kid’s sock and put it on a railing.

So, all excited to send it to you, I took a photo and added the line: Ceci n’est pas un dentier, ‘cos I knew you’d like that. And then I remembered your last text: ‘No contact,’ you said, ‘for the time being.’ When would that be? You would message me first. Righto.

You’ll be surprised by what I did next though, Freddie. I made it my first-ever post on the neighbourhood Facebook group! I wrote: ‘In the spirit of Belgian surrealism, this is what I found at the bus stop today. So, if you or anyone you know has mislaid a set of dentures, I’m pretty sure they’ll still be there.’

And guess what? Seventy-three people responded that afternoon, including the local mayor, Monsieur le Bourgmestre!

Here are some of their comments:

  • With all the pollen and allergies at the moment, this person no doubt sneezed a bit too hard.
  • Maybe send a quick message to the local police or ask at the old people’s home to see if someone has misplaced them. They probably took them out because they were irritating and then forgot all about them. Renewing dentures or glasses is expensive for vulnerable people … poor person, again toothless!!
  • The local police are certainly a good plan. Their principal role is to serve and protect.
    Monsieur le Bourgmestre
  • This type of loss occurs very often. Really nothing exceptional.
    Doctor Irena
  • Found at last!
    Louis, a student
  • This is just weird and a bit repellent.
  • Hilarious! Thank you for sharing.

Sixty people posted a laughing emoji, eleven, a thumbs up, and two, a surprised emoji.

Which just goes to show how many different ways there are of seeing the same thing, doesn’t it? But your mind would turn to surrealism, Freddie, I know it would, especially as we both find ourselves in Belgium at present.

Anyway, all these people were happy to hear from me, so that made my day.

They say that losing teeth is a bad omen, don’t they? Which means that finding them must be a good one!

Anyway, I keep checking my phone to see if you’ve messaged me. Seventeen days now. How long is your time being? Have you been counting the days? It’s okay though. I won’t text you or anything, like you said. It’s fine because I can share it all with you in my head, where I see you and hear you, night and day.

You can’t stop me. I can’t stop me. I can wait as long it takes because, you know what, Freddie? I know what you’re thinking anyway. I do. In a way, we might be even closer now than we were before.

Yes. What today has brought me is definitely a good omen.

Jackie West grew up in the English Midlands and worked as an editor in non-profit organisations before publishing Shade of Violet, a novel about characters with self-serving charisma. Not exactly a shoo-in was her first Funny Pearls story.