hidden within an artist's rendering
Monday, May 19 2003
I went into Kingston early this afternoon with the idea of doing some promotional work for my languishing computer repair business. I made the mistake of not eating before I left, and since I would be going to a dental appointment later, I didn't feel like I could eat while I was in town either. The result was a bad case of low blood sugar. As my dental appointment approached, the only thing I could do to assure my stomach that it hadn't been forgotten was to go grocery shopping. My purchases were focused heavily on carbohydrates.
Today at the dentist I received the final crown to replace what remains of my punk rock tooth. The crown looked so good that the dentist showed it to me in the mirror before gluing it in place. Somehow the guys who'd made it had perfectly matched the nuances of my teeth coloring. My teeth tend to be whitest near the tips and fade to a yellower color near the roots in a condensing dither of faint speckles. After I'd made the appropriate noises of appreciation (which weren't really words, since I had wads of cotton stuffed under my lips), the dentist pried off the tooth and began preparing it for attachment. Since I still had the mirror, I thought I'd take a gander at the remnant of my punk rock tooth, which was momentarily exposed. I knew that the dentist had whittled it into a narrow triangle, but I didn't know what it looked like. Oh my God, talk about the desert of the real, that thing was hideous. It was covered with dark grey splotches and veined with streaks of brown. Even now, it kind of disturbs me to think that ugly thing is still there in my mouth, hidden within an artist's rendering of what my teeth look like when they haven't been smashed by a bottle.
While I was there, I also had some small fillings installed in the teeth on the lower left side. Originally the dentist had wanted to put them in without any novocaine, but I assured him I needed painkillers. He had to give me three injections before my lower lip went numb on the left side, but even then I could feel that drill doing its damage. Part of the shock and awe of dental work is the smell of ground-up tooth, and it's entirely possible I was mistaking that for pain.
By the time I got home, my head was so numb that I couldn't trust myself to eat anything requiring mastication because of the risk of chewing up my tongue without knowing. So, in an effort to placate my now-furious stomach, I drank a couple beers and Gretchen made me a milkshake. I'm not sure I'd ever actually had a milkshake before.
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