I awoke this morning with the knowledge that I was to be in a dentist chair in less than an hour. I went through my morning checklist of saying my prayers, making the bed, bathroom, rubbing grit out of eyes, picking the nose, and brewing the coffee. Then I tried to hone down what I did, and did not have time for. Which I do every morning. One of the things that frequently does not make the list, is to sit still. Though some mornings I think really hard about it and then figure that counts for enough. Since I put forth the effort of thinking super hard about sitting still without ever actually sitting or even standing that still at any given moment, I will totally still reap the benefits.
My oufit was picked out already, (inside-out sweatpants, white tee, suede vans). Sa-weet. If my outfit is picked out from the night before’s going to bed process, all I have to do is slip into it. Sometimes I do not prepare my attire for the next day and often those days are the days I happen to be running late. And it sucks. So out of fear and self-knowledge of my obsessive assembling of ensembles (HAHA YESSSSSSSS good one, I know..I know-HIGH FIIIIIVER!), I tend to put out my outfit for tomorrow so when tomorrow comes I am so prepared in the most matching and panachey way one can be prepared.
Yes I made up that word. It was born a devout noun and was convinced to convert to adjective. Life-changing. yes really.
I make it to the dentist on time (booyah) and I am in the bathroom adjacent to the waiting room pondering the act of locking the door. These were my thoughts: I might hurt someone’s feelings by locking the door because they might think I don’t trust them to not open the door while I’m in there. AND: fear that they might think that I am too uptight to let the sparkling and daring possibility of people seeing me pee to happen…CONCLUDED WITH: I just don’t want anyone f-kin walking in on me while I’m in the most vulnerable of positions…on the f-kin toilet. It’s weird and embarrassing.
This all in a space of less than 5 minutes. Don’t worry, I am getting help.
I wash my hands and the smell of Christmas trees floats happily into my nose. I get a feeling of joy and holiday spirit all over my body. Yes, really. Is this how those people who make Christmas songs felt when they decided to record all that music in the studio? Because if that is so, then I understand and might not hate them so very much for making songs that I have to hear everyday. all day. For all of December.
As soon as I leave the bathroom I am called to the chair. They were waiting for me. While I was contemplating the act of locking doors and Christmas soap wonders, they were hovering in the hallway with sweat beading on their little pro-floss brows. Wringing their hands with anticipation of the massive cavity drilling that was about to take place. In my mouth. I sat in the chair as the super nice, old black woman soothed me with her small talk. Which I think is a totally inappropriate word for it. SMALL? Man, there ain’t nothing small about starting and keeping a conversation with a complete stranger. Or anybody for that matter. Small, I think not. Maybe more like a medium. Medium talk. No, more of a tall. Wait that’s starbucks for small. Shit. I wonder if someone has ever, like, woken up in the middle of the night screaming "Venti-grande-mochachino-frappe-whip-double-stack-splenda-extra-drizzle-ARGHA!" in a thin voice, covered in a film of their own sweat. Or accidentally answered the phone with that phrase.
But really with the tiny adjective. Small? No way jose. it takes some damn practice and courage. I read a whole book on it. And took notes. And I practice, that shit is tough, but it does get easier. Working behind a register is an excellent way to learn quick. If you screw up with one person there’s another right behind them. To practice on. I mean isn’t that what we all are doin in some way or another everyday? Practicing.
Her name was Dolores, I think. I really wish I could remember. I remember her face and her rose violet colored blush and her choclately freckles. And I remember the way she held my hand and rubbed my shoulder whenever the dentist was doing some scary shit in my mouth.
I told her I was going to make tee-shirts, and she talked of the Girl scouts she once was apart of and how they sewed their shirts and then printed on them, all by hand. She talked with a disappointed tone about today’s girl scouts, and how she had been to a meeting of her grandaughter’s and sometimes they did crafts but most of the time they just sat around and talked. TALKED! She exclaimed, amiable and throaty chuckles ensuing. An action that caused the violet of her dentist smock to stretch and roll like a good natured and funky ocean. “We never did anything like that! Talk.” Her deep giggles falling gently into sighs and She started discussing the history of jeans and her personal take on the things. How funny it would be to show up at her church group’s fieldtrip bus with some jeans on. Jeans! Her chuckles again. She was the best thing about the visit.
The dentist arrives with his small talk, which I will now take the time to re-name awesometalk. One word. Awesometalk. Like lets have some awesometalk over tea? Yes no? circle one?
Dr. Drill-Fingers arrives with his awesometalk and, yes, you guessed it-drills. Evil and bad. EVIL AND BAD! Drills that go vzzzt-vzzztWEEEEEEEEEiiiiiiiH! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhohmahgodohmahgodohmahgod! Ok the last part was me. In my head. My thoughts, at the time. My animal instict of “F-KIN RUN WOMAN RUN! RUN FOR YOUR FREAKIN LIIIIIFE!” My heart like a chipmunk, wait no something better, like a, like a cheerleader on a six pack of red bull right after her homie-g-funk just scored a touch down on the field. Except not so happy. Not happy at all. Afeared. Very very afeared.
[Origin: bef. 1000; ME afered, OE āfǣred frightened (ptp. of āfǣran). See a-3, fear, -ed2
I’m all “Breathe in God breathe out meeeeee Breathe in God, breathe out meeeeee, in out in out” It sucked. But I just kept my eyes closed and kept on paying attention to my breathing. Every so often Dr. Deviltools would ask “Are you ok?” his voice going up just enough at the end to make his tone sound as if I should be answering “NOOOOO! I’M NOOOOOOT! I AM DEFINITELY NOT OK!” But in response, I would just make this little like grunty noise with my throat and uvula. Which I just looked up. Have you ever seen that word? It’s the name for the turkey-ma-bob hanging at the back of the mouth. You know that thingy thing. Uvula. Sounds like Dracula’s second removed cousin or something. Why second removed? Because the first got removed by the freakin dentist in a accidental drill slip, when his patient responded to his “are you ok?” question with a ill-timed nod of the head. Which brings us back round to my chosen response. WHY oh why, would I respond with anything other than a gruntish noise? I am no way going to nod or move any part of my upper body, nor am I about to, or even able to speak the word “yes”. What with a rubber buffer chunk wedged beween top and bottom teeth, the 'Mr. Slurpey' spit devoider rammed in my Lingual Frenulum (look it uuuup), and Dr. areyouok’s hands in my gaping, vunerable mouth, poised for attacking with drills clutched between latexed fingertips? NO friggin way man!
Need I go on? Im reading a book (one of the many) by Anne Lamott about writing and something she wrote hit real close to home. Something about using a lot of flair and shimmer. And how when she first started writing she wanted everyone to know how witty and uniquely clever she was. DAMMIT I am so there. I hate it when I get called out like that. I’m always trying to be special. Well I guess I am not all that unique. Again.
I am making out this dental visit to be awful and bad on so many levels, when really the only awful thing about it besides the vibration from the drilling, was the billing. Ew and yuck. I am still receiving the damn things. Just got one hand delivered by dad. Says I owe $788 I think. Which is more than I get paid in two weeks. Like I said ew and yuck. However last time I sent a check for $77 and it turned out that I only owed $7. I am not so good with the numbers thing. Or reading statements. So if there is a message in this story I am not sure what it is. Except that according to my mass witticisms and flair I am clever and unique. Just kidding.
um Dental work is what separates us from animals. Thats what my mom says. Mom, correct me if I'm wrong.
mom corrected me. Apparently she didn't say that.
And the dentist himself actually wasn't evil and bad. Just his Drills. Which will in turn save me from having a super classy toothless grin later in life. So..yay dentistry! And Novocain. And Christmas tree soap. And paying bills on time.
ok I'm done.
oh wait-and awesometalk.
((written in pieces: starting in early dec. finished in early jan.))