creeping dread, side of hash browns
STUFF AND DENTISTRY; or, WHAT COULD BE MORE METAL THAN A MOUTH FULL OF BLOOD
I saw an older gentleman walking up Michigan Avenue carrying a brown paper file folder labeled with the words FUCK YOU. It was not some punk-rock sticker or anything, it was just Sharpie’d on the file the same way you’d write TAXES 2008 or whatever. What is in there? His FUCK YOU files, I guess.
Remember when I was whining about needing gum surgery? I finally went and had three of the tissue grafts. By the way, even though it grosses everybody out, I like saying that I had “tissue grafts.” It makes me feel like a cool reanimated creature built in a laboratory. IT LIVES!
I cannot “recommend” this procedure exactly, but I was surprised at the lack of actual in-the-chair pain. The dentist even used numbing gel pre-Novocaine-injection. That said, it was still not cool to feel him sewing the stitches inside my mouth, and it was also slightly not cool to feel the way he had of gently holding my chin with the tips of his fingers as he worked—it gave me the unsettling feeling that we were getting ready to kiss at any moment.
Then it was finally over and I shakily wrote a check for a horrifying large amount, even WITH dental insurance, and got handed a bag full of stuff. Included was a sheet of paper that, among other things, told me to eat only cold/mushy things (darn) and not to exercise for the rest of the day (sarcastic “darn”); a medicinal rinse; and prescriptions for super-strength Motrin, antibiotics, and a mild (schedule IV) narcotic. So off I drove to Target to get that stuff, blaring Fugazi’s* “Margin Walker” and drooling blood out of my numb mouth. It was sort of like mommy-memoir/James Frey slash fiction.
I dropped off the prescriptions, mumbling through stitches and weird bulky gum-tissue and Novocaine mouth, and went to go wander the Target aisles like a zombie until they were ready. I returned at the appointed time but they were still not ready. While I waited, I had the odd feeling of impending pain. Serious, freight-train mouth pain was on the horizon, and although it didn’t hurt quite YET I could feel it gathering. Seriously, it was a very weird sensation and probably not dissimilar to a junkie realizing she’s going to need to fix in the near future. The Target drones were still chatting away back behind their counter, not looking at all like they were filling my prescriptions, so I said EXCUSE ME around my stitches, probably leaking blood down my chin in the process, and asked if my drugs were ready yet. Maybe I looked a touch unsettling because they pretty much couldn’t wait on me fast enough after that.
*I listened to this while very hungover on New Year’s Day and just found it again. Forty minutes of Fugazi yelling at people from the stage. I could have given the direct mp3 link, but I like reading the transcript of the ice-cream-eating motherfuckers in this one.
One of the weird things I bought at Target while in post-dentistry-trauma shock was a Lean Cuisine. A Lean Cuisine! I have never eaten a Lean Cuisine in my life! But I was intrigued in a student-of-economics sort of way, because Lean Cuisines were on sale for less than two dollars, and I was wondering How In The Hell Can This Work. It was like the first-world industrial food economy right there in front of me, in the freezer case. The Lean Cuisine was some kind of butternut-squash ravioli thing, and I brought it to work and ate it once I was allowed to eat heated, solid food again, and it was not “Cuisine” but it was not terrible. They aren’t kidding about the “Lean,” though, I was hungry again in a few hours.
Speaking of food, I still am not really chewing on the surgery side of my mouth, and am staying away from chips and popcorn and other crumbly pointy things, but it is a relief to be done with getting nutrition through “smoothies.” I hate smoothies. I also hate the infantile word “smoothie.” I will give in, just like I did with “blog,” because it gets too cumbersome to say “blended fruit drink” or “shit I write on the internet” all the time, but UGH.
INTERESTING WORDS AND PHRASES NORA HAS USED IN CONVERSATION, PAST 24 HOURS
- accursed underpants
—mimi smartypants wants her stitches to dissolve faster.