feel some pressure.


mariah, the beautiful receptionist, greeted me. she knew my name without even looking at the computer. she smiled as she said my name, and she touched the back of her neck. i convinced myself that this was flirting, that she was flirting with me, and even if it wasn't true, it at least momentarily helped me forget about the awful ordeal i was about to undergo. i was finally going to get my wisdom teeth removed, and even though it was only the top two, which were already erupted, i was anxious as hell about it.

after a few minutes, she led me to one of the chairs. "do you have any questions?" she asked. yes, will you let me impregnate you at least twice? "no," i said. she told me there was a hook where i could hang my backpack. i put my belongings on the hook, and then i sat down. she handed me a consent form, one that said i ran the risk of infection, cardiac arrest, death. i signed it. minutes later, my dentist showed up. we shook hands, and he asked if i had questions. i said, no. "i'll just get you really numb," he said. we laughed at that. please don't kill me.

the injection wasn't bad at all. same as when i got my filling some months ago, i couldn't even feel the needle going in. it was only slightly sore as the needle came out. i could feel the novocaine on my lips and tongue, and within minutes, i was numb. he numbed both sides, a total of four shots. "you're going to feel a little bit of pressure," he said, and then he went to work. it's just a bit of pressure. you're going to be fine. don't panic, don't go into cardiac arrest. i could hear michael jackson's "man in the mirror" on the radio. fuck! is this is a sign? m.j. went into cardiac arrest, and then he died! "you're going to feel a lot of pressure now." his whole fist was in my mouth, and i noticed that he had kept his watch on.

good god, that's a lot of pressure. but don't worry, you're not feeling any pain. this is nothing. remember when she left you? that hurt. nothing will ever hurt you as much as that did. this ain't shit, baby. i tried to not think about what he was actually doing to me. i didn't want to look at his plastic guard, as i ran the risk of seeing the bloody carnage that was happening inside my mouth. i understood why some people wanted to be put under for a procedure like this. i anticipated a cracking sound. something was going to crack, and i didn't want to hear it. i paid attention to the radio. it was taylor swift's "love story." remember when you were in boracay and you asked that girl to dance to a remix of this song, and she said she didn't want to? god, you're a loser. you deserve this. you deserve to have all of your teeth extracted.

i exhaled deeply when the first one came out. the assistant asked, "are you okay?" "yeah," i said. he went to work on the next one. it came out easier than the first. i remember him making a circular motion with the forceps. before i knew it, i was done. all that anxiety and all those sleepless nights for nothing. the assistant packed my mouth with gauze, and my dentist said to just take it easy today, to get a lot of rest. i thanked him, and he thanked me. i was so happy to have finally found a good dentist. possibly the best dentist ever. i should write him a letter, and tell him that he's the best dentist i've ever had. and that the dentist i had as a kid scarred me for life, but now he is restoring my faith in dentistry. okay, maybe not that much. a simple thank you.

i went to pay the bill. i noticed mariah had some glitter on her face. she charged me $168. say something witty. be charming, even though you're bleeding. i didn't say anything. she told me to get plenty of rest. "and no heavy lifting!" she added. i smiled at her. love me. please. i got on my bike and rode home. i texted in sick to work. i put ice packs on my face and changed the gauze every ten minutes. i watched love, actually and ate ice cream. i bought soup from geraldine's for $8. i watched rushmore. i was glad it was over. something to do while i still had dental insurance.

a bit of pain to distract from the overall numbness.

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