Arlesha Wright sees the metaphor of her braces as a metal wall, holding her back.
As I read the play “Fences” by August Wilson in my literature class, I realized I was running my tongue along my braces. No, it wasn’t a nervous habit. It was me personalizing the story. It represents something that is set up to either contain what’s within the characters, or to keep the outside world at a distance. My teacher would probably appreciate me making the connection.
I know I’ll be grateful later, but for now, I can’t speak clearly and I have to avoid some of my favorite foods, like celery and apples. I drool a lot on my pillow because of my braces and it takes a lot of work for me to say “Mississippi”.
I’ve had my braces for more than two years. Every month, I go to the orthodontist and ask my doctor, “Sooo, doc, when am I going to get these things off?” I am exhausted.
I keep getting new additions to my teeth: expanders, rubber-bands, brackets, spacers… I feel like some freaky science experiment. Until all these things are gone I feel like I am being held back, trapped behind a mouth full of metal. When this wall is finally torn down, I can’t wait to see what’s on the other side.