Category Archives: categories

Mortality, the Blog

12th March 2009

This is the skull of a suspected vampire.

“At the time the woman died, many people believed that the plague was spread by ‘vampires’ which, rather than drinking people’s blood, spread disease by chewing on their shrouds after dying. Grave-diggers put bricks in the mouths of suspected vampires to stop them from doing this.”

Huh. I found her on Legacy Matters, a fascinating blog that’s mostly about death.

The link above is to the site’s “No Way to Go” section, which is worth a look, my friends. Here’s a Roald Dahlian photo of a priest who floated away with a bunch of helium balloons and was never found.

Given some of the more choice examples in the “No Way to Go” section, this one is looking like an unequivocally excellent way to go.

I prefer to think he just floated right on up, no waiting.

Pity the Fool, a Quotation

10th March 2009

From a A Cup of Joe:

“I must learn to love the fool in me–the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries. It alone protects me against that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom I also harbor and who would rob me of human aliveness, humility, and dignity but for my fool.” — Theodore I. Rubin, MD

My Head is Heavy, Like a Melon

17th February 2009

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.

Love,
Maggie