Sabrina’s Mouth

Sabrina's Mouth

Sabrina squints at herself in the mirror, dread in her eyes. She hears snipping, sweeping, Smash Mouth, Shakira. Her eyeglasses are off, and she’s having trouble focusing. This is making her nervous. She’s paying $200, and should be eating lunch. The stylist lifts the scissors. Inches she’s known since high school fall to the floor. She starts to stammer. He puts a hand to her shoulder. “Tell me what’s wrong. Use words.”

She leaves the salon. She stops at the Greek diner on Madison to grab something to eat at her desk. She chooses the club sandwich. When she opens the bag, it’s four inches thick, an architectural creation with bacon dangling, mayo oozing, turkey sprawling, tomato slices glistening beneath the fluorescent light. She could dismantle it, but do you take apart a Gaudí, or Renzo Piano? She looks at it pensively, and then uses a napkin to wipe off her lipstick.

There is a meeting at three. Eight of them sitting around the conference table, with the whiteboard on one wall and the color markers that smell like banana and papaya. Nothing gets done, because they all start to laugh. She takes a deep breath. “I just hope no one here is laughing at my haircut,” she pouts. She’s gratified that her hair is still long enough to twirl on her tongue.

It’s true her afternoon vice is frozen yogurt. When she answers the phone, the cord sweeps across her desk, dripping creamy raspberry across the fourth drafts of contracts, and she knows the best way to solve the problem is by licking it off. As long as no one is looking. And even if someone is looking.

At six o’clock, on the way home, she listens to her iPod on the subway and starts to sing. Put it in my mouth. She said put it in her mouth… She looks around nervously, and then lowers her voice.

In the kitchen, before dinner, she reaches into the refrigerator and opens a bottle of wine. Then she pours the Riesling into two glasses. Just a hint of honey and spice.

We clink them together and bring them to our mouths, drinking. Maybe there’s some peach and pear in there, too. If you devour the breast, you can floss with the bra strap. I kiss her. I love her.

I’m going to be a dentist.

© 2010 James Sturz. Photo © 2009 nyki_m. All rights reserved.

About James Sturz

James Sturz is a food, fiction, and travel writer based in New York. He is author of the novel Sasso, set in southern Italy, and contributed to Italy: The Best Travel Writing from The New York Times and Best Food Writing 2007. His articles, essays, and stories have run in more than 70 publications, including Travel + Leisure, Outside, The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Playboy, Afar, Alimentum, Saveur, and McSweeney's.

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