The rain was downpouring on Monday evening.
Cork city centre was dark at 7pm because black clouds hung low. No one was outside on Oliver Plunkett Street.
I certainly wasn’t. I was warm and snug in the Hi-B, halfway into a pint of Guinness. Myself in the corner next to a couple who were leaning into each other.
I can’t resist eavesdropping. A habit from childhood.
Why have I never told you you have wonderful teeth?”
Thinking about it “could anyone resist listening in to that?
She said nothing at first, as if she’d misheard.
Your teeth are precious.
I saw him cross his ankles & tuck his legs under the seat. He pulled back from her eyes smiling.
How do you mean … precious?
They sparkle, so white. I’ve never seen teeth like them.
In all my fifty plus years paying wrapt attention to the intimacy & frivolity of others, I’d never seen anyone woo anyone by complementing their teeth.
It reminded me of the teeth poems I’d written when I was working for the National Trust.
The cleaner who changes her toothbrush 47 times a year…
The father who manages on two brushes a year…
Sounds like you fancy my teeth?
That’s not all he fancies, I said to myself.