Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Mover (Story 299)

Megan and Kellon's possessions were delivered by moving van today. The driver was missing his two front teeth. (He also happened to be an amazing driver and got his truck into a difficult spot even though the driveway hadn't been ploughed).

The Mover
He was missing his two front teeth. He had lost them thirty-three years ago. They'd been gone for so long now he didn't think about the space very often. It was odd that the first thing that people noticed about him was that he smiled unselfconsciously and that he had two missing front teeth, yet he smiled without considering the missing teeth at all. It just wasn't how he saw himself.

Every time he went to the dentist, they suggested that he could have a set of false teeth made up. Every time he told them “no”. He'd had them before. Just shortly after the teeth were knocked out in a hockey game when he was seventeen. He had never got used to them and eventually just left them in the bathroom cabinet.

When he'd taken the hit with the puck, he couldn't believe the pain he experienced, nor the amount of blood that came out of his mouth when he spit them out onto the ice. The dentist told him later that he should have stopped playing immediately and put the teeth inside his cheek or into a glass of milk, or some such nonsense. He has just spit the blood out and chased after the puck until the play was called and his coached pulled him from the ice.

He felt a little self conscious while he was waiting for his gums to heal enough to begin the steps needed to get the false teeth. He'd try to hide his smile, but he was smiled so often that it was futile. When he decided that he hated the fake teeth he'd given up even caring. If someone couldn't see beyond the teeth to the winning smile, then they just weren't worth troubling over.

He continued to play hockey while he did his training for long-distance trucking, but he'd given it up when he began working for a moving company that handled cross Canada moves. The expectations of style weren't that high for truck drivers. That was probably the reason his smile wasn't a problem. It certainly hadn't hurt his career.

When he financed the purchase of his own rig, the bank had seemed happy enough to give him the money. The day he signed the final papers the loans officer had smiled and shaken his hand in the same manner he had the jewelry store owner who had been in his office immediately before.

Today after he backed his rig into a particularly tricky driveway, he'd hoped down and smiled winningly at the family who were waiting to move into their new home. They certainly noticed his big toothless smile, but by the time all their possessions were off the truck and sitting in the their home, they long since forgotten.

They thanked him for all his help before he left and he responded with a big cheerful smile.

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