1/18, 2:30AM

Of all the things that it could possible fixate on, my mind has decided that toothpaste would be tonight’s hot topic.

After going to the tea house with Gabe, I went to Duane Reade on the corner of 8th street and Broadway. I had a very hard time finding the toothpaste, but I initially had a hard time even remembering that I needed the stuff at all; my tube at home, Aquafresh Extreme Clean has wasted away, a willowy waif bound to perish in the militant onslaught of my dental hygiene regime.

(She is a noble waif! The entire week that I’ve been entertaining the idea of betraying her and purchasing a new tube, she has always given me the recommended pea-shaped amount for my toothbrush.

She has withstood being held against the edge of my sink, she has had every corner flattened, she is cavernous and folded near the spout from her fortitude. She has bore the strain of trips in trains and planes (one could hypothesize that she actually fared better in my suitcase because she was so thin.)

A model tube!)

In search of another, I traversed the Duane Reade circuit twice before stepping into an unlabeled aisle very misleadingly filled with “Bald Guyz” hair (??) product .

In front of the toothpaste cache, I stood baffled before a million choices: Whitening? Tartar control? Complete care? Mouthwash strips? Gabe suggested cavity protection, but that is a given; excepting the $1.99 Aim label at the very bottom (while she has skills, she lacks style! That wouldn’t do -) I generally go by unit price. She of the modest unit price is presentable, but sensible. Cinnamon will not do. Gritty flavor crystals are unpalatable. Must be smooth. Always in a tube.

In the end, I walked out with Colgate Total with Whitening Gel. She peered out of my shopping bag the entire way home, viewing the world around her in her final moments of existence in the outside world – it was as if she knew that in a matter of several minutes, she would be confined to the humble expanses of my bathroom!

I placed her next to Aquafresh Extreme Clean; curious, I gave Aquafresh one last squeeze. She still procured enough for the night. Resilient to the very end. I lay wondering if they talk of what life is like outside the bathroom.