Touching Toothbrushes

Touching Toothbrushes

The bristles of your roommate’s toothbrush are touching yours… and the bristles are still wet. What’s the sitch? 

A barrage of feelings hits immediately: 

“Eeewwwww… that was just in his mouth!” 

“I could chew some minty gum instead, pretty much the same thing.” 

“Where do I get a new toothbrush if I don’t have a dentist’s appointment scheduled?” 

“Why the SHIT do we put our brushes in the same sink-side cup? We have too many cups in the kitchen cupboard anyway!!”

“Do I have to boil them? Would that help?”

“Who’s to blame for all of this? And how can they be brought to justice?”

“Am I gay now?” 

It’s these moments in life that test your resolve and grit as a person. First, I get all of those initial thoughts under control so I can think rationally: 

“My roommate is pretty clean.” 

“A toothbrush spreads around toothpaste, which is like, a cleaning substance, so, ergo, some transitive properties, the head of a toothbrush should be pretty clean…?” 

“Its wetness has more to do with running it under fresh sink-water than the bath of pure human saliva from whence it came.” 

 “If I squint my eyes enough it looks like four toothbrushes, and they can’t all be touching… so…” 

“Am I really above this? Do I have the self-respect and, more importantly, the energy to do anything about it?” 

I take a moment to center myself, placing my mind in a distant bonsai garden on the slopes of a modest ridge, inhabited by a Zen master who has the cleanest teeth imaginable… I reach for my toothbrush, smother it with extra Colgate, and scrub my enamel till I can see the reflection of my reflection in my teeth in the mirror. Oral hygiene is more important than avoiding cooties people.

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