Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Carl Papa Palmer

In my sister-in-law’s bathroom, sometime after midnight, unable to locate her light switch, I leave the door open for some visibility from a night lamp in the hall.

Washing my hands and wishing I had my mouthwash, I spot a tube of toothpaste beside the tooth brush holder.

Having used toothpaste as an emergency breath freshener in the past, I grab the tube, squeeze a sufficient glob on my tongue and feel my way back to bed.

Lying there, disappointed at the lack of a minty fresh experience in my mouth, I find the toothpaste tasteless with the consistency of play dough adhering to the inside of my teeth.

Using my tongue to no avail, I reach in my finger to scoop out the concoction, smearing it even more between my teeth, lips and gums.

Totally awake now, I return to the bathroom to rinse, this time locating the light to discover I’ve completely emptied her tube of denture adhesive.


Carl “Papa” Palmer of Old Mill Road in Ridgeway, Virginia, lives in University Place, Washington. He is retired from the military and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) enjoying life as “Papa” to his grand descendants and being a Franciscan Hospice volunteer. PAPA’s MOTTO: Long Weekends Forever!


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