By Kelly Day–
“I don’t drool,” they smirk.
After you come to terms with it, it’s not all that bad. Admitting you drool is the first step. Don’t get me wrong, it’ll always be gross, but you’ll accept its grossness for what it truly is:
Life. Totally unfair.
And drool doesn’t just happen once a day – far from true. It’s all the time.
I awake in the morning to what I always hope is morning light, yet is always pure darkness (and yet, it doesn’t get dark outside until 8:30 p.m. Something’s a little backwards…). Lifting my head in all its morning glory, my hair is plastered to my face. Well, that’s different.
After pulling it away, I partially lose balance and grab hold of my pillow for support. It is then that I discover that it is soaked. Lovely. If you happen to experience these same goings-on, then you suffer from chronic drool, brought to you by that metal in your mouth.
While getting ready, I, like many of my breed, practice the gentle and time-consuming art of putting on make-up. I think of how well my eyelids will fade with my clothes, how the little flare of bright color at the tippy-tip will attract all the attention away from that awful mouth.
As I quite carefully apply little dots of eyeliner (a procedure I tell myself is done by Broadway beauties) to the ends of my lids, a strange sensation tingles my lips. I pause. While investigating this strange happening, I feel a repeat of that same feeling and a cool, wet sensation on my blouse, brand new and very pastel.
After realizing the culprit behind the momentary ruining of my top, I quickly suck in all the rest of my pestilence in a very unladylike, soda-slurping fashion only adopted when you are positively sure no one else is around and you are dying for that last drop of drink. Unfortunately, I was not alone.
My mother, coming upstairs to get my younger niece up, scolds, “Cecilia, no quiero oir otra vez. I don’t want to hear that again. It’s unladylike and rude. And clean up whatever it is that you spilled.”
“Sí, Mamá,” I reply.
Considering that drool will only stain for a few minutes, I decide to clean the rest up with my sleeve. As my niece walks into the bathroom, she asks, in her sleepy, oh-God-why-do-I-have-to-be-up-at-this-hour voice, “What are you cleaning up?”
“Just water,” I respond.
After you drool on yourself once, you try your hardest not to clean it up with your sleeve ever again. The smell is far more potent than previously believed, and lasts longer than your deodorant will. Sometimes, though, it is inevitable.
That day during gym, it was the rare occasion where we had to run the mile, for time. It just so happens that the boys class was also out there. As if you don’t feel just perfectly gorgeous in your generic gym shirt previously worn by somebody in need of deodorant in the last class, you’re also sweaty, and pink in the face, and just a tad bit ripe yourself (unless you’re one of those really irritating athletic people who call themselves sporty who can run a five-minute mile without breaking a sweat. Oh well, at least the rest of us can pass a drug test).
If you’re me, on this nice, sunny, humid Texas day, where the air is as still as the water would be, if we had any, then you’ve also got a smattering of drool all across your jaw. Apparently I pick up so much momentum when I run that my jaw locks without me knowing it in a wide open position (it’s like watching someone run while they have a giant horrified smile on their face- and they just keep on going).
This allows for drool to leak out and dry and cake itself to my face. The actual amount is amazing, I never believed it possible for one person to salivate so much.
After finishing my mile, I lay on the grass, huffing and puffing while my comrades continue their run.
“Celie?,” a voice from heaven beckons me.
I open my eyes and see a dark figure blocking the sun. I must’ve been out in the heat too long.
“Celie, I didn’t know you had gym this period.”
Oh God. It’s not a hallucination. That voice, it’s identical to the one that belongs to the guy that sits beside me in English, who always picks up my pencils when I fake drop them.
Oh God. He’s gorgeous. And I’m a wreck that can’t sit up without having to catch her breath. I believe I have astroturf in my hair, and I ate a sausage sandwich for lunch.
Oh, my God.
“Uh, yeah, I have aerobics right now,” I say as I sit up, trying to regain some dignity, which works pretty well, until I feel the mask of drool bestowed upon my mouth.
At this point in time, I don’t want to try to wipe it away, for fear that he hasn’t noticed yet and I don’t want to draw attention to it. So I just hope.
And this hope brings me through a conversation that is so heavenly I forget where I am. He keeps fidgeting with his ring. He’s nervous.
About a million and one things are running through my mind, and all of them have a common word: boyfriend.
“Uh, Celie, there’s something I should tell you,” he pauses.
“Yeah?” I ask.
He stares at his shoes.
“You’ve got something on your face.”
“All over it, actually, and a little something else too.”
“Well, my class is going in now,” he says. “See you in English.”
Yeah. If I haven’t dissolved into a pool of utter humiliation. And drool.
In the locker room, I find the courage to look in the mirror. Looking back is a broken soul with white caked up substance surrounding her mouth.
And something else, too. Oh, great. My soul mate just told me about the piece of sausage stuck to my cheek.
Now isn’t that graceful?
Kelly Elizabeth Day is a sophomore at Smithson Valley High School in Comal Independent School District.