Friday, October 16, 2009

I awoke at 8:12. I knew instantly that I had slept in. Sometimes you just wake up and you know you have overslept. I rose and hit the space bar on the computer to see what time it was. I glanced down at the business card of the dentist, picked up the phone and called the number, told the voice on the other end who I was and my stated purpose and she said that I was lucky, there had been a cancellation and as a result, I would be able to see the dentist. I didn't feel lucky. It was like being told that you won a million dollars but you had to give most of it away for taxes. I agreed to make the trip to the office in record time and I took off down the hall to the shower. I got in the car and drove with haste to the dentist office. It was a dark and rainy morning, where the last of the fall leaves are blowing in every direction and you shudder as rain pelts you in the face through the window. 
I arrived at 8:40 for an 8:00 appointment. I sat down and looked at the 'National Geographic' that was the only interesting thing to read in a fucking virtual sea of crap tabloid and fashion magazines that tells me people are either stupid, or they are assumed to be stupid. Glamour magazine, indeed. All it does is make people feel ugly and judge all their self worth by the reflection that they see in the mirror. Maybe that is why they are the reading choice, provided by the dentist, so that you will feel bad about your teeth and then spend more money on them.  I wonder...
After a short time, my name was called and I went in and sat down on the fancy chair. There was a television that was bolted to the ceiling and it was tuned to the food network. Another show with some asshole chef with anger management issues, yelling at people while they all work toward some deadline, where they will have to blah blah blah...
The dentist and his assistant were both in the room now and we all exchanged pleasantries as they prepared all their tools of death and torture, like two killers numbed to the cries of their victims. They donned all sorts of protective and terrifying gear. I felt the sweat beading on my neck and my palms were drenched with sweat. I was prepared for the local anesthetic with some minty gel that was applied with a small cotton tipped swab. It tasted kind of nice. Then, out of nowhere, comes a needle and it is inserted into my gums. Ouch. 
They always say 'pinch', when they should just say 'hurt'. I feel like they do themselves a disservice when the pain comes as a surprise. I have learned over the years that when a dude sticks a 4 inch long fucking needle in your mouth, the result is gonna be that it hurts.
As the anesthetic sinks in, my lips and teeth begin to feel numb. 
Before they remove 3 wisdom teeth, they are going to put fillings in two teeth. Like getting 3 teeth yanked out wasn't enough, they talked me into getting the fillings in the same appointment, saying that my mouth would be frozen so we might as well fill them. After the needle of mercy was inserted into my gums, I would have to agree with that.
Upon completion of drilling, grinding, filling, etc., the dentist discovered two more teeth that required fillings and asked if I wanted to have them filled? By this time, the Stockholm Syndrome had begun to take shape and I identified with my captors. At this point, I would have gone down in a hail of bullets for these fuckers.
After the nurse returned and said the 2 fillings would only cost an additional $36, I actually gave the thumbs up. It was like Top Gun. The drilling continued...
When all was completed with the 4 fillings, I was asked to sign a form that stated if some shit were to happen as a result of their ripping out my teeth, they would not be held responsible. I signed it and laid back. My back was wet with sweat. It was at this moment that I truly realized that I have a major phobia of the dentist. Some people have a fear of flying or a fear of spiders. I have a big problem with the dentist. 
Some razors are inserted into my mouth and I know there is bad shit happening in there but I cannot feel it.
The 3 wisdom teeth are unceremoniously ripped out in succession. It hurt. I felt a little bit violated. 
I listened to the dentist and the nurse talk about Kanye West and Jay Z and other poppish, mindless crap and I took comfort in this, knowing that they were so jaded to routine procedures like this, that they were comfortable enough to speak about pop stars and blow drying their pets. The dentist even said that he showers with his little dog. 
When it was all over with, I shook both their hands and made my way toward the door. I could not speak as my mouth was stuffed with gauze and frozen beyond belief. 
I thanked them for letting me go and made my way toward my car. 
I drove toward home listening to the radio and I felt relief. 
I guess it feels good when you conquer your fears, even in a small way. And I did that day.


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