I have problematic teeth. When I go to the dentist, which I do every few minutes, they look at me like I’ve been sleeping with hard candy in my mouth, and waking to a hearty breakfast of dried apricots dipped in marshmallow fluff.
So many hygienists have given me flossing demonstrations that I’ve begun to carry a photo of our medicine cabinet in my wallet:
That’s eleven containers of floss, y’all, not counting the two in my nightstand drawer and the one I keep in my dopp kit. So you see, I’ve become “vigilant” about this issue. I’m the fucking Rainman of flossing.
Anyway, this round of oral surgery was to place two implants, one to replace a baby tooth that I never lost, and one to replace a botched root canal done by a dentist I no longer visit — except in particularly graphic nightmares.
After the surgeon made four unsuccessful attempts at placing an IV to knock me out, we decided it might be preferable to go with the laughing gas. Because I was in fetal position crying at the time, this sounded good to me.
They applied the Vader mask, and I immediately recalled how much I dislike laughing gas. I lost the bit of composure I’d managed to summon, and tears began to pool in my ears. When the Novocain took effect, I freaked, albeit in a very subdued, distant manner. A peek into my gas-addled mind:
It is clear I have no teeth. I am an ancient person whose toothless face is weathered with knowledge.
No. Wait. I am a baby with a round, toothless face, seeing every detail for the first time.
No! Wait! I am uncomfortably high.
To test the latter theory, I tried to lift my arm. Fail. Accordingly, I began to panic.
I am too high to lift my arm. I am entirely too high!! How can I possibly be of use? How can I help the periodontist complete this task? I am useless like this! USELESS!
Then I began to laugh uncontrollably, and my arm floated into view. I tapped the mask and said, “I. Hate. This. Shit.”
And that’s how I ended up having the surgery with a pint of Novocain and very little dignity. I can recall all the details of why my mouth feels like this, which is why I hope to drink heavily this weekend.
Tomorrow, do you want to talk about bone grafting? No? Aw. Let’s do it anyway.