I spent some time yesterday with a dentist.
Up to their wrists in other people’s mouths, dentists are some of my favorite people to mess with.
“I don’t get to party with dentists as often as I’d like,” I confess to him from the chair. “When you guys get together, do you, like, sit around and watch Little Shop of Horrors? Sing “Be a Dentist” while pretending to be Steve Martin?”
The dentist lets out a whoop. “I love that song!” He sighs reminiscently. “That reminds me,” he says. “It’s my turn to bring the gas next.”
I twist around, crank my head to look up at him, and he grins at me, a charming upside-down smile. “We’re not allowed to talk openly about it, you understand; but you’re messed up right now and would make a pretty lousy witness.”
We’re doing the final stages of a crown. It’s my first foray into dental work beyond having cavities filled, and it’s been quite an experience. It’s a nerve-y thing, the mouth. I have never cared for lidocaine or its brothers, but having involuntarily lifted myself off the chair early in the appointment, I was convinced by the assistant that maybe a shot or two – just to get the party started, ya understand – might not be a bad idea.
He showed me the gold crown, and I admired its intricacies. Hopefully I will never see it this closely again.
“So how many of these have you dropped down a throat?”
“AHHHHHHH!” Both the dentist and the assistant bellowed in unison.
“No, no, no,” said Halina. “Ees like ‘MacBeth’ in theater. We don’t say.”
“No worries,” said the dentist. “I drop it down your throat, we just postpone this appointment for, oh, three days.”
It’s my and the assistant’s turn: AHHHHHHH!
Installation was easy, particularly since I was anesthetized and did none of the work.
And nobody dropped anything down my throat.
And now I have a gold tooth. It’s not noticeable, even if I smile broadly, but I like to think that there’s something about me, now, that would lead the casual observer to think, Hmm. Now there goes a woman with a secret…
And I do have a secret. Because for the first time in months, I’m chewing – tentatively! – using the molars on my left.
I’m tellin’ ya, man. This is how the other half live.
That Summer: Part Four
12 minutes ago