Wow. I guess L. Ron Hubbard had it right. Success really is inventing your own religion. Welcome to all you newcomers, and Steve bless the lot of you. Welcome to the non-douchey side. Come on in. Sit a spell. We serve brownies, and we don’t lick ’em first or nothin’.
So today was my third visit to the dentist in the last six weeks, which sounds excessive, I suppose — unless you keep in mind that heretofore it’d been ten years between visits.
The first trip was a general evaluation and enough foul-tasting, bite-sized X-rays to stuff a turkey. The second involved a somewhat nasty, damp, and unpleasant process called “debridement,” wherein the hygienist basically said, “JESUS H. CHRIST!!!” and then she used a spleen-meltingly awful sonic tool to blast off the worst of the gunk as part one of a three-phase cleaning extravaganza.* Today was trip three, whereupon I underwent the first of two “planing” sessions.
That’s right. My mouth has acquired so much funk that it’s taking fully three sessions to clean it out. Mind you, I’m not complaining. It’s at least partly my own damn fault I’d gone so long without a check-up;** so I came prepared so suck it up and tough it out — which was good, because the aforementioned hygienist was prepared to get medieval.
How medieval? I’ll tell you how medieval. She basically told me she wouldn’t perform the service unless I’d subject myself to a series of five numbing shots that would effectively turn my face to Play Doh. And oh yeah, “There’s gonna be a lot of blood. Seriously.”
So I reclined, winced, took my shots, and while we waited for them to fully kick in, we talked about survival horror video games — a shared interest we discovered during the debridement (or rather, before and after it; not a lot of talking goes on when you have a spleen-melting sonic tool in your mouth).
Hygienist: Have you played the new Resident Evil yet?
Me: Not yet. We don’t have a console and it isn’t out yet for PC.
Hygienist: Aw, man. I already beat it. But you played through the new Silent Hill, right?
Me: Yeah, a bew weeps ago.
Hygienist: I’m sort of stuck at the other town, you know? In the cemetery?
Me: Oh, sure. Bat part’s prebby conbusing.
Hygienist: I’m trying not to resort to GameFaq, but I’ll probably cave.
Me: I reppomend it. Bup bee warned – bee emdings are all prebby dubb.
Hygienist: The endings are pretty what? Dumb?
Me: Weah. Bubb.
Hygienist: I think that stuff’s just about taken hold.
Me: Bat buld beem doo bee buh capse.
There was, in fact, a lot of blood; and when it was over I had roughly the muscle control of the undead. But what would you expect from a hygienist with an inordinate fondness for survival-horror video games? Finally, she was done; and finally, I could go home.
I could not, however, manage to correctly close my mouth. Nor could I feel anything from my chin to my cheekbone. I wasn’t in any pain, precisely, but that kind of sensation absence is highly distracting. I kept touching my lips and playing with them, which drew laughter from the one kid sitting in the lobby. He pointed at his mom and giggled, and said, “Look at that lady! Her face is all messed up!”
To which I replied with a lopsided glare, “Yore bext.”
And I’d like to think that he was.
(Steve, forgive me.)
The electricians were appropriately sympathetic when I returned home. If they pointed and laughed they did it behind my back like civilized men; and then they gave me an amazing surprise. They said, “That’s pretty much it.” It turns out, while I was getting my mouth manhandled, they were installing the last of the electric work in the bedroom and bathroom.
I could’ve hugged, them, one by drywall-dust-covered one. But I restrained myself. It’s not like I’m never going to see them again. They’re right next door, tearing up our neighbor’s apartment and hanging out in the stairwell/foyer, toting equipment and nattering into their walkie talkies. These guys are going to be a persistent feature of my life for the next few months, at least.
It’s nice to have them out of my work space, though.
This is not to say that I can’t hear them anymore (all afternoon, I could. And I did.); and this doesn’t mean that I can wave goodbye to the construction and demo teams. For one thing, a wall of our closet is still exposed — requiring sheet rock and paint in the near future; and for another, there are still a number of plastered-over holes that require sanding and painting.
And of course, in a few weeks we’ll have the plumbers tearing out our bathroom and kitchen walls and floors. So it’s not like there’s any real peace and quiet in my future.
But it’s better than nothing. And I’m trying to be optimistic about the fact that progress has, in fact, been made. The new fixtures are pretty nice. Most of the dust has been cleared out, and my allergies are doing better already. I can feel my whole face again, and I’ve even consumed a grilled-cheese sandwich without drooling it all over my lap.
So things are looking up, I guess.
Vaya con Stevos, everybody.
* Just kidding. She’s actually quite cool.
** For about eight of the last ten years, I haven’t had any dental insurance. I had it the last year I worked in Tennessee, and I’ve had it for about a year here in Seattle … so there were clearly windows wherein I could’ve gone to a dentist, but didn’t.