The story of my teeth by Valeria Luiselli

By Valeria Luiselli

"Bon vivant, global tourist, auctioneer--the tale of street and his tooth is like Johnny funds meets Robert Walser in Mexico"--

summary: "Bon vivant, international tourist, auctioneer--the tale of road and his the teeth is like Johnny funds meets Robert Walser in Mexico"

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But his companions on the pew quickly silenced him and forced him to sit down, arguing that his case was nothing special. At the end of the round of bidding, Saint Augustine’s tooth was bought by a lady poet with the face and body of an owl for three thousand pesos. I took the third piece from the table behind me and returned to the pulpit. HYPERBOLIC LOT NO. 3 The owner of this lot was an eminent man of harmonious proportions, with a notoriously beautiful face. He was christened Francesco Petracco, but went by the name of Petrarch, I believe because it sounded more patriarchal.

In one corner of the restaurant, a ghostly youth was playing the guitar and singing a catchy sort of tune about a man who lost sight of a woman in the Balderas metro station. I started leafing through a newspaper, trying to keep at bay the implacable gusts of melancholy that assail you when you don’t eat your meals at normal times. I had taken to reading the newspaper right through, particularly when I was sunk in the self-pity engendered by my repeated rejections in the world of dance and theater.

That’s politicians for you, clergy included: their heads are so full of themselves that they aren’t the least bit curious about other people’s lives. I had a final moment of doubt and reluctance before closing the deal. It wouldn’t be easy for me to publicly exhibit such an intimate branch of my collection. Moreover, I’d have preferred to save the items for when I held my grand auction. I finally agreed, of course, because I’m not a mean-spirited sort. But also because I remembered a resplendent evening when I’d read about an auction in which, after the death of the Emperor Pertinax in 193, a praetorian guard had sold off the entire Roman Empire.

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