Write Every Day

Brushing with your doppelgänger

I stepped up to the sink and there he was. The guy in the mirror. My doppelgänger. One wouldn’t describe their reflection as another being. Heck, I just did. Some might call this behaviour narcissistic. Let them.

And just like that I was able to write words and put a sentence together. Call this heroic or just an attempt to pat me on the back for starting to write for the millionth time.

Where were we? Right.

There I was, in the bathroom, holding my toothbrush in one hand and the faucet handle in the other. I turned the handle to hot and placed the bristles of my brush at the foot of the waterfall.

“You can soften the bristles if your gums feel sensitive,” my dentist added after finishing the seasonal cleaning job. Ah, the memory of being at the dentist. Don’t know why I get flashbacks every time I commence the process of brushing.

I lifted the brush and pressed my thumb against the bristles. Satisfied with the tenderness, I reached for the paste. This is no ordinary tube, honey. “DANT KANTI” is an ayurvedic paste I had flown in from the holy land — India.

Thanks, dad.

I squeezed out the magic formula onto my brush and paused to stare at it through my doppelganger’s eyes. Bit of a staring contest going on over here. I might as well be on a podium. Participation certificate, here we go.

The smell of this paste can only be compared to the likes of a trip to the Good Earth store at Khan Market. Oh, how much I love saying, “I told you so.”

A kick of dopamine (imagine SuperMario coin sound) later my pupils look dilated. Wow, seriously! Never imagined brushing was a sensual experience till I wrote about it.

I began with the right side of my mouth and slowly worked all the way around, applying a thin layer of paste across my teeth and gums. Building up a lather is nothing short of foreplay. The gentle art has taken me years of practice.

And now, repeat for the inside of your teeth. Don’t tell me you never tried this? Seriously? Get some tongue action in there. Careful not to trigger your gag reflex. Unless that’s your happy place (clears throat). Let the excess foam drip from your chin. Yeah! Just like that.

About thirty-five seconds later I stare back at my doppelganger with a big smile on my face. Satisfied with my work, I put the brush away. Only after rinsing it. I’m no animal, mister.

I prefer to rinse my mouth with warm water and gently dab my face with a towel (as if my chin was a breast full of milk). And it doesn’t end there. No — this isn’t amateur night.

I conclude my performance by flossing stubborn corners and rinsing off the debris with mouthwash. Carpe-fucking-diem baby! And, yes, I am single. Would you believe it even if I told you?

By Paul Syng

PSD is a multi-disciplinary design practice based in Toronto. The studio focuses on a problem-solving approach that can take any form or function.