Thursday, August 29, 2013


Husband and I headed for my dental appointment at 9:30 AM and by 9:15 took our seats in the dark blue chairs of the waiting room, decorated with a mural depicting an animal-filled African plain.  At 10:15 we were still observing the giraffe, panther, and zebra standing immobile in their portrait and the green, grassy plain looming a bright green rectangle, which bothered me by its refusal to be shaded into the distance.  Also troubling was the brick patio foreground begging the question:  who invites these animals (apparently) into the waiting room?

Finally the dental assistant calls me away from what had become like home:  the cellphone calls of various people, the teenagers mugging and staring into their hand-held devices.  No longer the need to endure the casual examination of total strangers anymore; just watch them monitor whatever might be so interesting to them.

Husband and I enjoying the wait in the waiting room

In the dental chair, the assistant and I exchanged pleasantries about our cats and after I am flattered by her saying she thinks hoarders are really not bad people; the dentist came in, gave me a long-needled shot of deadening stuff, which took a lot longer than changing tires at a NASCAR race...a lot longer.  Then my insides began to rumble in an old familiar way.  Oh please, God, not now.  And God said, "Okay." After about 20 minutes, the dentist returned and gave me an even longer shot of Novocaine.  Then he took out his tools and began to work.  At this point I reflect on the irregular heartbeat which afflicts me.  Having been normal for 9 months, it inexplicably returned 3 days before my extraction appointment.  I relay to the dentist that if I die in the chair, he'll know why.  No problem, he said.  

The dentist and I prepare to do it.

"Crunch, crack, pop," and the tooth breaks into fragments.  Without dropping a stitch, the dentist begins to pick and pull out the shattered roots.  After much tedious removal of matter, he declared me done and I leave with post-extraction care instructions which included DRUGS.

Husband had napped on and off and we left at 12 noon.  It only cost $115.00.  That night I dreamed I was naked on an African plain and being chased by a savage dentist wanting to extract all my teeth.  The panther, giraffe and zebra were running with me.

Savage dentist chasing me and the panther on the plain
The pain in Spain is mainly on the plain!