The Green Handle Toothbrush

photo by Simone Badour

I tended not to notice it unless I was particularly hung over. But on those days, those glorious hung over days, I couldn’t help myself. Stumbling in a fog, ears ringing, mouth dry, vision blurred. From my bed through the tiny, run down apartment to the bathroom. Light too bright. Palms on the sink, lean forward, force the gaze upwards. Black rings around bloodshot eyes, pale skin, messy hair. Two for one PBRs last night. Tomorrow night. Every night. This is a city for hangovers, and this morning’s was a fantastic beast. Taste last night’s burrito, it is no longer pleasant. Splash cold water on the face, and feel better, or slightly more awake at least.

Reach for the toothbrush and pause. My well worn blue handle sits in a discarded water glass, along with the toothpaste…and her unused green. The joke was, “a pretty green tooth brush to go along with pretty green eyes.” I’d said it with a smile, truthfully teasing, and she’d smile back at me, happy with the jokes, with the smiles, with the ability to find comfort in sharing a sink before sharing a bed.

It seemed like ten years ago instead of only a couple months. That first time she’d stayed over. We kissed on the landing and I’d invited her in. I think I’d asked if she wanted to have a sleep over. She looked up at me calmly, with just a hint of mischief in her deep greens, and remarked that she didn’t bring a toothbrush. I’d told her that she’d just have to use mine. When the sleepovers became a regular occurrence, and it seemed more natural to sleep curled up with her than it did alone, I’d decide to present her with her own. A pretty green toothbrush to go along with pretty green eyes.

photo by Simone Badour

Our relationship was temporary before it began, as I was moving a thousand miles away to follow my dreams, and she was very much staying put. She’d promised to visit, and I couldn’t wait to see her. When I moved out west, I’d only brought a couple of duffels and my typewriter, but somehow her toothbrush found its way into my bags. When I set up my new home, her toothbrush got a prominent spot in my daily routine. Every morning, still groggy, I thought of her. And every night, before getting into bed, I thought of her again. But time moves on, and so did our lives. The calls became less frequent, and the longing less intense.

And then one particularly hung over morning, I’d had enough. I took the pretty green tooth brush and buried it in a drawer. Out of sight, out of mind. Right next to the memories of her pretty green eyes.

Please take a moment to check out Simone Badour Photography


5 responses to “The Green Handle Toothbrush

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Green Handle Toothbrush « The Anarchist Project --

  2. Awe – someday I’d like a toothbrush bought for me to match my green eyes.

  3. So I was in the drug store today – after I read this post (and commented already – I realize) and thought, ‘hey, I need a new toothbrush.” I was drawn to a green one…I had to buy it for myself though 😉

  4. Can’t tell you how glad I am that you’re writing at the moment. 🙂

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