no more punk rock tooth
Wednesday, April 16 2003
Even if they aren't Mongols, even if their intent isn't Mongolian, even if sacking and pillaging, raping, and burning aren't their reasons for living, history will say that the American troops in Baghdad were nonetheless responsible for the burning of libraries and the loss of the Babylonian substrate, the little Iraqis have to give them pride. In the aftermath of this tragedy, particularly after seeing how cheaply art - real art - is made from nothing in South Africa, I feel somehow artistically neutered. On the one hand, what is the good of art when it is so callously lost? This, even after it has been collected and deemed priceless. On the other, it's obvious to me that for most of my artistic needs, it would be a better use of my time to just contract-out the work to the talented but miserably-poor of South Africa.
I went to the dentist again today. The focus of his attention was my so-called "punk rock tooth," the incisor adjacent to my left top canine tooth. It was smashed into a triangle-shaped stump during a punk rock show in Blacksburg Virginia when a friend of mine danced into me while holding a beer bottle. It was subsequently repaired with a composite filling, but by the summer of 1998 it was abscessed, with pus occasionally issuing from a sore on my gum. In the summer of 2000 I finally got around to getting a root canal. It's been noticeably darker than my other teeth since at least 1996.
All that changed today. The dentist whittled it down to a trapezoid and put on a temporary cap that looks almost exactly like my other teeth. It's the first time in nine years that I haven't had visibly damaged teeth. Next week he will make an impression of this stump and fit it for a proper crown made of porcelain-coated precious metals. When the initial accident happened, I had no idea the eventual expenses would come to well over a thousand dollars.
In the afternoon I set up the radio out on the back deck, assembled my tools, and proceeded to build a catwalk over to the side window of the dining room, a window I'll eventually replace with a proper door. Meanwhile, the weather underwent one of the most dramatic daytime temperature drops possible. When I started, the weather was still hot the way it had been yesterday, possibly as high as 80 degrees Fahrenheit. But throughout the afternoon the winds started kicking up and every now and then I'd be stabbed by a blast of noticeably colder air. Well before sunset, when I finished my work, the temperature had already fallen to the mid-50s.
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