I’ve been living in Boston for over a year now and I think the single thing that’s taken me the longest to get used to is the secret underground tooth economy. I thought it was weird when I first moved here that I kept finding teeth everywhere:
In stairwells and public restrooms.
On the bus. At the Stop&Shop.
On sidewalks and in gutters and on subways and in fountains.
I thought there was some weird disease going around and everybody’s teeth were falling out. Maybe it was an outbreak of scurvy among the homeless, even though that’s not how scurvy works.
’Cause here’s the thing: Nobody outright tells you that there’s a secret underground tooth economy. That’s why it’s secret. And underground. You just have to pick up on it using context clues. And by context clues, I mean you see a guy trying to buy a jug of milk with two canines and a handful of molars and are like, “Oh. So there’s that.”
Will White is an MFA Fiction candidate at Emerson College with a deep interest in horror fiction. He has previously been published in the University of Akron’s Rubbertop Review. He is not currently in hiding.