My mouth, on the other hand, does have holes. Or, it has one big hole where a wisdom tooth and some bone used to be, now replaced with a synthetic bone-like material and loosely sewed over with stitches that scratch the inside of my cheek.
Today's rain stops me from my now-nightly routine. Just before going to bed in the evening, I've slid on the miner's headlamp, grabbed a bottle of beer and a pair of chopsticks, and headed out into the garden. Each night, slowly, poring over every plant, I look for slugs. When I find them, I pluck them with the chopsticks from their slime trail and drop them into a plastic container I have outside for this very purpose. After I find what is out and visible, I tip the container over on the driveway and stomp on the assholes. Then, into two bowls in two different beds, set deep, the top flush with the surface of the soil, I pour the contents of the bottle of beer. In the mornings, I dump the bowls and their slimy drowned prisoners out into the compost pile. (No worries, I only use the cheap stuff; the buggers don't deserve any better.) The slugs have been messing with me this year, leaving holes in everything. Not only have they nibbled down nearly all the historic beans I brought from the Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center (I've started more in six packs on the patio, safe from slugs but potentially slowed by a future transplant), but they've also been nibbling on my garlic. My garlic! No one messes with my garlic.
**********I spent this afternoon grading essays and entering scores into the computer. Red gaps where scores should be glared at me; many students aren't turning in their work. In the three sections I have of AP English Language, a composition and rhetoric class, students' grades are nearly entirely dependent upon their essays. If they don't write them, they can't prove to me that they're learning; but, I know very well that student performance is very closely related to teacher performance. The students aren't doing their homework for a reason. There is a hole in my teaching somewhere. Those red gaps are telling me that I'm missing something, for a good teacher's gradebook shouldn't look like a bloodied, gap-toothed grimace.
I am tired of holes.