Like many others in New York I've been drenched in tasting season. (Today was Polaner. Best wine? That's tough, Emidio Pepe 1985? de la Tour Clos de Vougeot VV 2006? Desvignes Morgon Cote du Py? Eric Texier St. Joseph?). You want to hear what I found, yet like a woman, all I want to do is talk about Philip Roth. With my teeth a fuzz from the two days of red wine, is it any wonder that I find myself thinking of this scene? Letting Go, published by Random House 1962 From the section Debts and Sorrows. "Why don't you clean my teeth? I'm asking you to clean my teeth." "You'll sit there fidgeting. I don't do a rush job. I'm not a plumber." "I won't fidget." Without looking at me he walked around the chair. "I just won't work with sombody fidgeting." A hand appeared over my head and I was in the glare of the light again. He spoke from behind, like Marge. ‘I don’t know when you became so casual about your health. You used to love to have your teeth cleaned. You used to say your mouth tasted pink afterward. I still tell that to patients. I don't know where you suddenly picked up such bad habits." Behind me he was scratching together a sweet-smelling paste. "It’s funny," he went on, “How a mouth doesn’t' change, how yours is the same mouth now it was then. I can remember it, you know that? I can remember your mother’s mouth. I find that I can remember every single tooth in her head." Then his face appeared above my own. I could have reached up and pulled him down and kissed him. But would he understand that I was not prepared to surrender my life to his? He was a wholehearted man, and such people are hard to kiss half-heartedly. + My mouth was tasting pink when I asked the operateor for Iowa. I waited to be connected while my father's tuneless peppy little whistle came from the bedroom. Removing my tartar had restored his belief in the future. Listen to that last line. “Removing my tartar had restored his belief in the future.” I have recently forgotten how to write. It happens. I usually panic. And then I read Letting Go or Sabbath’s Theater and immerse myself in restoring the belief my scraping out the tartar.