Touch & Taste

I had my wisdom teeth taken out three weeks ago and it was unpleasant. It’s still healing, the one infected socket, now de-cloved and treated with antibiotics (joy!). This put me in the awkward position of eating unsolid foods—quite a blow to me, as I am an avowed soup-hater (except for Mom’s goose fat soup, and that miso soup at that awesome sushi place in Vancouver, and maybe wonton soup provided there isn’t much of it) and particularly enjoy chewing. It is something I love. Solid foods, the textures and the way they feel in my mouth, the perfect satisfaction of one good crunch—ah!

I was chatting with the pharmacist at the on-campus pharmacy when I went to pick up my antibiotics, and I mentioned the unpleasantness, and how the mouth is a very intimate area—and then I started thinking about it. I mean, I hear ‘intimate area,’ the first thing I think of is…well, sex. The mouth is put to good sexual use. But that wasn’t what I meant at all.

I’ve come to realize that sometimes I think with my tongue and lips. I’m probably not alone in this. My tongue is eager to investigate every new nuance of feeling in my mouth. It can’t resist wounds, or packed food, or my healing sockets. But its interest is hardly limited to the confines of the mouth.

Sometimes to really know a thing, it has to be lip-brushed or tongue-tested. Sometimes a texture is too much to resist. Unable to truly experience the soft curls on my dog Zorro’s head, I’d just have to lick that too-soft fur. My roommates will attest to the fact that I used to nom lightly on Mango’s ears as I held him in the kitchen. (Mango, ever-patient, didn’t mind apart from a brief buhwha?oh moment.)

It’s a very close and personal way of experiencing the world. Mouth pain can be the most distracting kind of pain because it is such a primal, necessary area. It’s an excellent sense, I think, to explore in writing, because it’s visceral and so there that it can easily be ignored unless we’re talking kissing or eating scenes. Exploring mouth pain and pleasure beyond the obvious might be an interesting writing exercise.

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~ by ambergor on 31/07/2010.

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