"It clung to the silks. A smell of mothballs from the coffin, a crack pipe in an unventilated lift." - ib
It was not so much that hawks and doves continually vied for dominion, that was given - one swooping after the other to nail it at the expense of meaning, fluency - it was more the fear of dentures slipping which prohibited him from flirting with the staff.
The perforated ulcer in the join between lip and jaw which made him wince.
The discomfit of always physically gravitating in disparate directions which made him feel he were coming apart at the seams.
"Thank you," he said. Carefully.
Watching bubbles rise and burst in token effervescence.
He swallowed it on down in less time than it took to smoke a cigarette. Sniffed at the two or three busy vaping along the length of the bar. He had tried it. Like a graft on a ravaged limb, it refused to take.
"Peekaboo." He went.
Feeling the teeth shift incrementally. Chewing over the burlesque bump and grind of the waitress's hips as she wove between the optics. Antonin Artaud's dead sibling in the mirror above the gantry.
He remembered leaning out the window smoking on an autumn day. The rain coming down in fits and starts. Deep puddles in the potholes between parked cars. The brothers shaking hands with those departing mass. Sheltering under umbrellas while their priest tilted his head and took it on the chin.
A man stepped between two vehicles pushing a child in a buggy. He looked to be in his early thirties. He lowered his head not so much to escape the drizzle as his wife. She stood behind them at the kerb. Hectoring. Bullish, in her taupe anorak.
Pablo smiled and pulled on his cigarette. Turned the dial on the transistor radio resting on the ledge. Diluting the sound of her under a sheet of all hallows staves.
The man turned to say something and his teeth slipped, the full set, emerging from his mouth before he could raise one hand to stop them. Falling in the road. Lurching sideways like a crab with amputated limbs on impact.
The infant wailed. Pablo laughed.
The man stooped down to collect up his dentures and jammed them straight back in his face.