The Tooth Fairy: An Endless Cycle of Delirium and Biological Waste

By: Jacob Lewis

Its pretty common that at the end of a heavy work week (at least 6 14-hour days in a row) something will happen to remind me that a human being was not meant to survive on constant stress and minimal sleep. This could take the form of something small, like falling asleep on the bus Friday night, or something a little large, like punching a clerk in the face, because they ran out of old fashioned donuts, as they scream, “what are you doing, this is a consignment clothing store!” Or, something borderline surreal, like the following story.

A few months ago I got home from work on a Friday that had capped out an exceptionally trying week. By the time I limped upstairs to put Athena to bed, I was running on empty. I lumbered into my bedroom and immediately collapsed into bed. I was about to fall asleep when a series of remembered images and words hit my brain. Something about my daughter, big event, money, exciting, blood from an open wound, magic, calcium and…

Oh yeah, Athena lost a tooth today.

I turned to my sleeping wife and asked, “Hey, did we do that tooth fairy thing, we were supposed to do what with our daughter losing her tooth.”

“No” she mumbled back, “I know I sure didn’t.”

“You want I should do it?”

“Sure, the dollar coins are in the upstairs closet. It’s in a red [portion omitted due to brief exhaustion induced black out]”

“Okay” I said, while mentally deducting points from her “Wife Score”. If she had wanted full wife points on this interaction the correct answer would have been “No, I’ll do it, you’ve had a long week and you shouldn’t exert yourself, I’ll go up and get it and after I have everything set up I’ll go downstairs and start making fresh cinnamon rolls for you to feast upon when you wake, after all, you need your energy…my big strong king.” If she keeps falling behind like this she is never going to earn enough points to get that mountain bike.

I rolled out of bed and dragged myself up to the third floor. On the way, I made sure to step on every piece of Lego that had been left out by…let’s just say my daughters.

I entered our large walk-in closet and looked at the section that belongs to my wife. It didn’t take me long to realize that my brain wasn’t operating at a high enough level to locate my wife’s dollar stash. After I lifted up the same magazine 3 or 4 times in a row to check under it, I decided it was hopeless and gave up. Fortunately, before I reached the stairs I remembered I had a collection of dollar coins hidden in a Costco size Nesquik container. I opened the container, making sure to inhale deeply the sweet scent of chocolate dust and oily metal, grabbed two coins and went downstairs again.

I entered my daughter’s room and laid down next to her in bed. I reached under her pillow for the little black bag that holds her tooth, took out the tooth and….

I wake up.

It’s about an hour later and I still have the tooth in one hand and the two coins in the other.

“Uh oh” I said to myself.

Fortunately, my daughter sleeps like a rock and my operation wasn’t discovered. I began to search for the tooth bag again. The thought suddenly occurred to me that I have no idea where I’m going to put the tooth when I’m done. I think about it and decide that it would be best to put it in my dresser and then in the morning….

I wake up.

Its about two hours later.

“God dammit!” I silently screamed, “This is god damn ridiculous!”

I gathered the rest of my mental energy and focused it on the task at hand. I put the coins in the bag, put them under my daughter’s pillow, gave her a kiss on the forehead so the night ghasts don’t eat her soul (because they will if you don’t, look it up) and walk zombie like to my bedroom where I shove the tooth in my dresser and collapse into bed, turn to my wife and…

I wake up.

I’m still in my daughter’s bed, tooth in one hand and money in the other. It’s about 6:00 in the morning and my daughter is going to get up soon.

“ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME….A DREAM…A FUCKING DREAM!! WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON!!!” I screamed, possibly in my head and possibly not.

I realized that I was now in the most conspicuous position possible. My daughter might be five, but if she woke up and saw me with her tooth and money in hand, she wouldn’t have to think very hard to realize this meant there was no tooth fairy. From that realization it wouldn’t be a large leap to no Easter Bunny, no Santa Claus, no God and, eventually, no ultimate point to existence. By her sixth birthday she would be smoking cigarettes in bed, wearing all black and trying to convince me to read The Stranger again for bed time. I couldn’t let that happen. I hate the Stranger…and cigarettes.

I forced myself to remain conscious long enough to shove the coins in the bag and put the bag under the pillow. I then take the tooth and…

I wake up.

“Daddy look what I got. Two coins!”

“FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK”, I thought as my mind entered panic mode. I still had her tooth in my hand so I did the only thing possible. I shoved the tooth into the elastic strap in my boxer shorts and looked surprised at the money that had magically appeared under my daughter’s pillow.

As my daughter exclaimed her new fortune and what she was going to do with it, I could feel her tooth slowly Shawshank out of my elastic and down my thigh.

My daughter paused briefly from her excited rant to ask, “do you think the tooth fairy uses the teeth for magic”

“That would be my guess” I responded, because continuing the fantasy is much better than facing the realities of the world. Specifically, that her tooth had not been used for magic, so much as it had been shoved down her father’s underwear.

In the end, it didn’t matter, my daughter was happy and she got to continue believing that the universe will sometimes present her with magic gifts just for the act of growing up.

And I learned from Google how to disinfect a child’s tooth.

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