I was watching a news piece about this famous white-haired old millionaire. They showed snapshots of him in a suit, laughing as he popped the cork on bottles of champagne in light-festooned ballrooms of the late 1970’s. They showed his boat on the ocean under clear blue skies, and he was standing at the deck in a sailor’s cap waving his cigar in the air, blonde beauties in swimsuits lining the rail to either side of him. They showed his secluded mountain estate atop a long road that climbed through the pines.
They spoke about his love life in that typical way with just a hint of scandal and a patronizing indulgence for the weaknesses of rich old men. At the height of his fortune, he had met his third wife, a young brunette with curled and feathered hair. They showed her smiling photograph, and they mentioned something about her teeth, and it was then that I noticed that something looked a bit odd about them, like there were too many or they gleamed too brightly or extended back too far beyond the bright red lips.
They cut to an old clip of an interview with this woman. She was explaining that she’d had her lower jaw removed due to cancer, and now she wore a facial prosthetic. To demonstrate, she unhooked the prosthetic jaw and removed it. The woman interviewing her then revealed that she too had a prosthesis. She had a plate in her face that extended from a dental bridge on the upper left side of her mouth on up to her left eye. She popped the glass eye inward, and then slipped the prosthesis out through her mouth, leaving her face drooping on the left side and a dark hole where the eye had been. And then they cut to the cameraman, already in the process of removing his prosthesis, and on it went until I felt like they’d set off a chain that would end with everyone everywhere having a facial prosthesis, the whole world turned upside down.